Talks Set To Get Biomass Plant Back On Track

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There are big plans for the old power plant on Fort Drum.

It used to burn coal, but a company called ReEnergy has plans to turn it into a biomass plant. 

That means it would burn wood and leftovers from logging for energy.

The project promises to create hundreds of jobs and bring millions of dollars to the local economy. 

But, not so fast.

Last week, the town of LeRay voted 3 - 2 against a five-year tax break for ReEnergy. 

Board members are reportedly skeptical that the company really needs a tax break.

The Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency helped negotiate the tax deal for ReEnergy.

Deputy CEO Dave Zembiec says he doesn't know whether ReEngery would move forward with the project without a tax break. 

"We probably need to do a better job explaining to the town the overall benefits to the town, the county, the region," he said.

Zembiec is hopeful something can still be negotiated.
 
They'll get that chance Wednesday when the JCIDA, town of LeRay and ReEnergy will meet to try to re-negotiate a deal.

Town of LeRay Supervisor Ron Taylor declined an interview request citing ongoing negotiations.

If the project moves forward, ReEnergy hopes to be up and running next year.

See our earlier report

Thursday, October 30, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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