Tax incentives approved for $800M Lordstown power plant


By BRANDON KLEIN

news@vindy.com

LORDSTOWN

The incentive package for a Boston company’s $800 million power plant fueled by natural gas moves forward after unanimous approval Tuesday by Lordstown Village Council.

Clean Energy Future LLC will be given a 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement on its real and tangible personal property. The project is slated to begin this fall, with the hiring of about 450 workers over a three-year construction period, and be completed by May 2018. The completed plant will have about 26 employees, generating $3.4 million in annual payroll.

“It’s a great day for the whole Valley – and us,” Mayor Arno Hill said.

The Trumbull County commissioners will vote on the incentives at 10 a.m. next Wednesday, noted Commissioner Frank Fuda. “The mayor and the village council did a great job,” he said.

Fuda said the commissioners spoke with the Lordstown school board earlier Tuesday, whose members are satisfied with the company’s contributions.

“They’re donating a lot to the school,” he said.

The Lordstown school district will receive $1 million a year for the first five years the plant is in operation; $1.25 million for the next five years; and $1.5 million for the five years after that. The company is donating that money to the district.

Once the plant is under construction, there will be three $500,000 payments made to the school district for the three years it will take to build.

The village will collect income tax from the project, Hill said.

The land for the new plant is in an industrial park off state Route 45.

The Lordstown Board of Education approved the 100 percent, 15-year tax abatement on Tuesday morning. Superintendent Terry Armstrong said the district has to vote on the abatement if it is over 75 percent.

“We are a district that has had to borrow money from the bank to make payroll,” Armstrong said. “This will hopefully give us some budget stability.”

Armstrong explained the district started to feel a hit on its finances after the state cut its income from tangible property tax in 2005. The state was reimbursing districts for that, but that has been cut.

“We have laid off staff,” Armstrong said.

For the past three years. the district, with about 550 students, had to borrow to pay its payroll.

“This is definitely huge for us,” Armstrong said.

Next, the board will have to vote to finalize the agreement and accept the donation. The deadline for that is July 31.

Contributor: Staff writer Kalea Hall

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