Brooke-Alvinston councillors are looking for advice on how to deal with the wind energy companies courting the municipality.
So far, three companies, NextEra, Enerfin and Suncor Energy, have come to the council with projects in the municipality, which they hope to win energy contract for by the end of 2015. Each company is offering to craft a community agreement of some sort but staff and councillors are wondering what the ramifications are of negotiating or staying silent.
Clerk-Administrator Janet Denkers, says the companies have asked the municipality to sign letters saying the wind companies have met with them and some have asked to sign letters of intent for a community agreement or letters of support for the project. Those letters would give the companies a better shot of earning a contract.
“Are we going to sign these things to go forward to the government?” asked Councillor Ken Alderman. “We’ve said all along were not a willing host but are we going to sign these things for the benefit of the municipality or are we not going to sign them?”
“It’s at the time a decision has to be made – are you ready for a lawyer?” Denkers asked council adding the municipality has had lawyers calling offering to help.
Instead of retaining its own legal counsel, council met in camera with Lambton County’s Solicitor David Cribbs who has been dealing with the wind companies first to see what options it has.