Wind turbines expected to be top of mind at AMO conference

AMO-logo2-biggerBarbara Simpson, Sarnia Observer
Wind turbines – a thorn in the side of many Ontario municipalities – will be top of mind when local municipal leaders meet with provincial officials this week. Several Lambton County politicians and municipal staff members are headed to the annual Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference – this year, running from Aug. 14 to 17 in Windsor – to address provincial issues impacting their municipalities.

On Friday, Lambton County Warden Bev MacDougall said she and fellow local leaders will be meeting with Ministry of Finance officials during the conference to discuss the valuation of wind turbines for tax purposes.

“When the Green Energy Act was created by the Ontario government, there was a whole slew of issues that have been dealt with, but the taxation that rests on this wind turbines is inadequate to cover the real municipal cost to host these pieces of equipment,” she said. “A good example is the cost of maintaining roads to and from them, winter maintenance, as well as road conditions that have to be protected for purposes of the owners of the wind turbines.”

They’ll also be raising the issue of OPP costs associated with policing wind turbines. Under the OPP’s new billing model, several Ontario municipalities were surprised to learn they’re being charged a base service cost per wind turbine property if these properties are already taxed commercial or industrial, but earlier this year, an OPP spokesperson said a review was underway on that policy. Read article

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