Friday, February 03, 2006

Hush money from wind company

Here are excerpts from a "forbearance and non-disturbance agreement" being foisted on owners of property neighboring a large wind power facility.
... Company and Owner have determined that it is in their mutual best interest to enter into this forbearance and non-disturbance agreement. The Company is desirous of providing Owner with certain economic benefits to accrue from operation of the Wind Project ... Owner understands and accepts that operation of wind turbine generators may have some impacts on the Wind Project's neighbors, including the Owner's Property.

... Owners irrevocably grant to the Company, its successors and assigns, the right and privilege to operate the Wind Project, which activity may result in visual, television, noise and other impacts and disturbances at the Property. Owners agree, among other things, that during operation of the Wind Project the Company may occasionally generate and maintain audible noise levels in excess of fifty (50) db (A) on and above the Property at certain times of the day or night. Owners also agree to not engage in any activity on the Property that might cause interference with the operation of teh Wind Project. ...

Owners may sell, mortgage, assign or convey the Property without consent of Company, but any conveyance shall be subject to the terms of this Agreement.

... Owners understand and agree that the Easements and agreements granted herein shall run with the Property, and that any assignee or future buyer of the Property will take the Property subject to the obligations herein. The terms of the Easements and forbearance agreements granted hereunder shall commence upon the execution of this Agreement, and shall terminate forty years after ...

Owners agree to keep this Agreement confidential and shall not disclose to any third party any of the terms of this Agreement ...

The Company shall pay Owner an ... operations easement payment in the amount of $--- per year ...
Note that the 40-year "agreement" is so above board that the signer is required to keep it secret!

From a later letter to owners still holding out, a "one-time $1,500 payment as a partial offset to some of the visual impacts of [the transmission line]" is offered which the manager of the wind power company says he "may have neglected to mention ... before." He also proposes to keep feeding them money until they sign the "forbearance agreement."

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