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City makes progress on power plant sale

Company, city officials in negotiations

April 20, 2012
By Jenny Lancour ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - Negotiations for the sale of the Escanaba power plant are progressing as an agreement is fine tuned between the buyer and the city. Council was updated on the process during its regular meeting Thursday.

"The terms of the business deal are pretty much hammered out," City Manager Jim O'Toole told council, adding the two parties are in the final review stage of the purchase agreement. Their next meeting is planned for Tuesday.

Escanaba Green Energy LLC has been negotiating with city representatives to buy the power plant for $1.5 million. EGE, under the leadership of company president Charles Detiege, plans to partner with Huntley MacMIllan Energy Ventures LLC to invest in the coal-fueled plant and convert it to burn biomass.

Six weeks ago, the city offered EGE the right to negotiate a binding contract within 90 days. A $200,000 down payment was required from the company.

Escanaba is selling the facility because it is less costly for the city to buy energy from a power supplier than to generate electricity by burning coal. Since the first of the year, the city has been buying energy from NextEra of Juno Beach, Fla.

In other business Thursday, council approved a resolution to submit a grant proposal to improve habitat for migratory birds in city parks and a state wildlife management area. The Escanaba Migratory Bird Enhancement Initiative is seeking a $50,000 grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

The federal monies would help pay for the planting of native trees and shrubs and the removal of non-native invasive species. The grant would be matched with local donations and in-kind services including volunteer labor.

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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143,



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