Ulster City Council approves payment in lieu of tax deal for solar farm – Daily Freeman

CITY OF ULSTER, NY – Members of City Council have agreed to a 15-year payment-in-lieu-tax agreement with Gardiner-based Professional Commercial Group LLC for a 5-megawatt solar panel on Wood Road that will pay a total of $375,307.46 split equally between the City and County of Ulster.

At a meeting last week, Ulster City Supervisor James Quigley said the deal was offered by the developer under a state law that could exempt developers from paying property taxes.

“Under New York State Real Estate Assessment Law, these (solar projects), when built as of right, do not pay taxes,” he said. .

“This is a situation that the state legislature has created as part of a policy to encourage green energy development,” Quigley said. “They also let local communities enter into a voluntary agreement with these developers to receive some type of compensation…and the city has a long tradition of being aggressive in seeking a fair deal with the solar developer and the town. ”

Under the agreement, payments will be $22,500 for the first three years, then increase by 2% per year until reaching $28,535.44 in the final year.

Professional Commercial Group plans to build the system on 21 acres comprising two 43.36-acre parcels between the southern off-ramp of the Thruway Freeway and State Road 209.

In the application, the developers say the $5 million project would include the installation of nearly 17,000 ground-mounted solar panels.

The project would be immediately adjacent to eight residential properties. In March, Ulster County Planning Department officials questioned the visual impacts for neighbors and people exiting the Thruway.

“No visual impact or landscaping details were provided for review,” they wrote. “Although the (county planning committee) notes that the site and the adjacent subdivision have a difference in topography…a review of the visual impacts on the residential neighborhood under ‘leaf-fall’ conditions should be considered. Visual impacts regarding the NYS Thruway entry and exit ramps were also not considered as part of the review process.

The developers said they considered visual impacts and further measures were not necessary.

“This site is naturally well protected and separated by 500 (feet) of existing vegetation and trees from the adjacent residential area adjacent to us,” they wrote. “It does not appear that the small section (which) may be visible through the Thruway would create an adverse field of view condition.”

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