Cadence Gets Its PILOT

The Union County Commission this morning approved a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program for Cadence Solar, the second PILOT that has been approved by the commission this year.

As with the Acciona PILOT that was granted by the Commission earlier this year, the vote was 2-1 in favor of accepting the PILOT for Union County, with Commissioners Dave Burke and Chris Schmenk voting in favor and Commissioner Steve Robinson voting against the proposal.

The language used for the Cadence PILOT is virtually identical to the PILOT granted to Acciona, with Cadence being required to pay $9,000 per mW hour/per year to the county and by extension the school districts in which the solar farms lie. Exact figures will not be determined until the solar farm construction is complete, but Cadence expects the solar farm to generate approximately 275 mW, which would realize about $2,475,000 per year in revenue to the county and the schools for each of the next 30 years.

Had the vote went the other way at today’s meeting, despite the rumors that Cadence would pull the plug on the project if the PILOT was not granted, it would have had no effect on whether or not the solar farm was to be constructed. Today’s vote was not whether or not Cadence would be allowed to construct the solar farm – that decision was made by the Ohio Power Siting Board months ago – and the commission, at the time, had no power to stop Cadence from securing the rights to place a solar farm in Union County. The vote today was simply about how the land on which the solar farms sit should be taxed. The county had no power to stop the projects, only the power to how to tax to properties, that decision being made at today’s meeting by granting the PILOT.

A third solar project by Samsung is currently in the process of trying to use the “grandfather” clause to build another solar farm in Union County without having to comply with the new laws, but a final decision by the OPSB and other state-level agencies have yet to weigh in on this matter before it comes before the Commission.

In other matters, the Commission passed six resolutions without a dissenting vote to enter into agreements for Title IV-E provisions to agencies and providers for the child placement and foster in residential care. Those agencies include Buckeye Ranch, Inc., the Village Network, Necco Center/Darst Cottage, Necco of Cincinnati, Oesterlen Services for Youth, Inc. and Keeping Kids Safe, Inc.

The commission also approved an agreement between the Union County Human Services Department with Legends Lift and Transport for use by handicapped or otherwise confined Union County residents. Also approved at the request of the County Engineer’s Office were funds for road improvements in the form of chip seal for Jerome Township, patching and road improvements in Paris Township and approving the recommendation for a release of maintenance from the county to Woodbine Village, Section 2. The Commission also approved a maintenance bond with Jerome Village – Village Neighborhood Section 2, Phase 1, then proclaimed October 2022 as Red Ribbon Month in Union County and gave assent to lighting the Union County Courthouse to show solidarity with Ukraine. No dates were given as to when the lights would be displayed.

Prior to going starting the agenda, the Commission received a report from Kayla Zimpfer of the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund on the actions the OCTF is making to stop child abuse before it starts, prevention being the key component in its approach. As the Commission appoints two members of the OCTF Board, the OCTF makes regular efforts to keep county commissions up-to-date on their actions, as it did today.

The Union County Commission is scheduled to meet again Wednesday, October 19 at 8:30 a.m.

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