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Ferrisburgh, VGL discuss deal

FERRISBURGH — At the May 3 meeting, the Ferrisburgh selectboard discussed with Vermont Green Line (VGL) committee member Craig Heindel ongoing talks with the companies that plan to bury a portion of a $650 million, 400-megawatt power line along some Ferrisburgh roads, and to compensate the town for being allowed to do so.
Ferrisburgh Selectboard Chairwoman Loretta Lawrence said this past Wednesday that officials were expecting a promised escrow fund payment to arrive shortly. That money from the VGL companies — Anbaric Transmission and National Grid — will cover Ferrisburgh’s legal expenses in negotiating a deal and costs in researching the impact of the project on the town. Lawrence said most things were on hold until the cash arrived.
“Once we get that we can move forward to talking about expert services for appraisal and the engineering part,” Lawrence said.
Many of those details must be ironed out before a Host Town Agreement can be signed in Ferrisburgh, she said. This past November, the VGL firms discussed paying Ferrisburgh $350,000 a year for 20 years for being allowed to work in town rights-of-way.
Officials in New Haven, which will host a large above-ground converter station, in April agreed with the VGL companies on a deal that includes $1.4 million a year for 40 years, plus $4 million toward a new fire station and town garage.
 Lawrence said there remains no timetable for an agreement in Ferrisburgh.
One step will be taken soon: A joint tour of the proposed route with VGL and town officials has been planned for this Wednesday from 4 to 6 p.m. beginning at the town garage. The public is welcome.
Lawrence also said VGL will be placed on the agenda at every selectboard meeting going forward.
“If there is stuff to share, Craig Heindel will come and keep the public informed. We want to have transparency,” she said.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.

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