On Monday, city council agreed to seek an extension for access allowance on Little Norway Road.
The deal, with the provincially owned Ontario Realty Corporation, was necessary to allow Horizon Wind access to a proposed wind turbine farm on the Nor’Wester Mountain range.
In essence, it was little more than housekeeping, the city holding up its end of a 25-year lease agreement with the Toronto-based company.
Mayor Keith Hobbs was vocally opposed to the city asking for the extension, essentially saying Horizon Wind, which once landed a $126-million lawsuit at the city’s doorstep, could look after their own red tape.
Council was just performing due diligence, living up to the terms of the agreement it signed with Horizon in 2007.
Though many on council oppose the multi-million project, now was not the time to draw a line in the sand.
That could come as early as Sept. 2, 2014, the drop-dead date Horizon Wind has to actually build a turbine on the property.
At that point, the city would have the opportunity to walk away from the deal, with no legal reprecussions. Given that Horizon still has to go through a provincially mandated environmental ass¬¬ess¬ment process, and then must prepare the site for construction, this very well could be the city’s get out of jail free card.
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