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This afternoon, the Itasca County Board voted unanimously to support the Excelsior Energy exemption for the Mesaba plant conditioned on amendment of the legislation to require approval of local governments and that a Host Fee Agreement be negotiated with local governments. The county has forwarded their resolution and amendment language that meets their conditions to their legislators.

The bill introduced by Sen. Tom Saxhaug and Rep. Loren Solberg is really a problem — not only does it not require approval of local governments, they introduced this bill without their knowledge! Who exactly are they representing?

Here’s SF2570.

Here’s the simple fix for the legislation that the County Board recommended — just add these two paragraphs:

1.23 (b ) have received by resolution the approval from the governing body of the county and
1.24 township or city, and school districts in which the proposed facility is to be located for the exemption of
1.25 personal property under this subdivision.
1.26 (c ) To qualify under this subdivision, an agreement must be negotiated between the
1.27 power plant owner and the host county and township or city, for a payment in lieu of property
1.28 taxes to the host county and township or city, and school districts.

But the problem remains, just who are they representing when they leave out their constituent local governments?

Tomorrow’s the first hearing for this bill — it should be interesting!

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