OWEGO — After a back-and-forth negotiation process that spanned a couple months, Tioga County Legislators and the Nichols Town Board agreed this week on a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement for a solar farm project in the town.

Around noon Tuesday, legislators passed a resolution specifically stating that the county would not agree to receipt of less than 33 percent of the lump sum the annual PILOT payment.

Last month, the town board wanted to split the funds for the 7.8 megawatt solar voltaic array with 80 percent going to the town, and 10 percent each to the county and the Owego-Apalachin Central School District.

However, their official proposal sent to the county was a 60/20/20 split between the three taxing entities.

The legislature immediately rejected the proposal, and the town countered back with an offer of 36/32/32.

By the time the town board had met Tuesday evening and learned of the county’s resolution earlier that day, board members felt as though they were stuck between a rock and a hard place.

They eventually accepted the offer.

County Economic Development and Planning Director LeeAnn Tinney told the board that, from the county’s perspective, legislators wanted to keep consistent precedent when it comes to solar farm PILOTs in relation to all municipalities.

With all in agreement, the Lodestar Energy project is on track to begin construction within the next few months.

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