MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — The Marshall County Commission will receive about $31 million in revenue over 30 years from a 549-megawatt natural gas-power plant that developers plan to build in Moundsville.
The commission voted 2-1 Tuesday to approve a payment in lieu of taxes agreement for the $615 million plant. Under the agreement, the commission would own the plant and lease it back to Moundsville Power to operate. Moundsville Power would pay about $1 million annually to the county, media outlets reported.
Moundville Power plans to begin construction next year, Chief Financial Officer Matthew Dorn told the commission.
Commissioner Bob Miller, who opposed the agreement, said following the meeting that he hopes the plant succeeds.
"I want it to do well. I want them to succeed and use our gas and employ our people," Miller told The Intelligencer and Wheeling-News Register (http://bit.ly/1tlY3ft). "My opposition had nothing to do with the workers. I just don't support government ownership of business."
Miller also believes the amount of lease payments the county would receive would be inadequate. Another concern is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
"Two years from now, who is to say that this out of control EPA doesn't come in and change the standards?" he said during Tuesday's meeting.
Members of the audience applauded the commission after the agreement was approved.
"They're going to create 30 to 40 great paying jobs at Moundsville Power, and hundreds of construction jobs here for the economy so I'm really looking forward to the project and it's completion and it's going to be an exciting time for Marshall County," Jim Beatty of Glen Dale told WTRF-TV (http://bit.ly/1w5FL6u )
Daniel Spitzer, an attorney representing Moundsville Power, told the commission that the plant is part of the ongoing effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.