The Selectboard will discuss the following proposed Agreement with Vermont Gas Systems at its Tuesday, December 16, 2014 meeting. The meeting will start at 7:00 PM at the Cornwall Town Hall.
Agreement With Vermont Gas Systems
The Cornwall Selectboard has concluded that it is unlikely that the State will deny a Certificate of Public Good for the Vermont Gas Systems (VGS) “Phase 2” pipeline project and that spending more taxpayer dollars to oppose the project at the Public Service Board (PSB) would be imprudent. Consequently we have two alternatives:
- Allow the PSB to set terms and conditions for pipeline construction and operation in Cornwall, or….
- …negotiate the best possible deal for Cornwall taxpayers and residents with VGS before the PSB takes final action.
We’ve negotiated an agreement in principle with VGS to provide Cornwall with substantial benefits if the project goes ahead. In brief, the agreement says that if Phase 2 is built Cornwall will receive:
- Full property taxes estimated to net $60,000 annually to the Town;
- $1,500,000 paid over 10 years directly to the Town over and above property taxes;
- $125,000 paid over 5 years to fund educational activities;
- $2,000,000 VGS investment in distribution to provide gas service to at least 50% of Cornwall properties;
- Energy efficiency programs for all Cornwall residents;
- Environmental indemnification for physical damages, loss of use of facilities and injury caused by pipeline construction, operation or maintenance.
These points and additional details will be formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding in the next few weeks.
This should reduce your property tax bill by an estimated 4%. Individuals who convert their homes to lower cost natural gas should realize additional savings.
While we understand that this solution will not satisfy everyone, the Selectboard believes that this agreement is in the collective best interest of our community.