County picks up the PACE

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  • | 4:00 a.m. June 23, 2011
  • Palm Coast Observer
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County commissioners agreed to join Kissimmee and Pinellas County in becoming incorporators of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, which could create an intergovernment agency that offers loans for renewable energy improvements for residential, commercial or industrial property owners.

County Attorney Al Hadeed stressed the county is under no financial obligation by participating in this organizational stage of the program.

Instead of applying for loans through traditional banks, owners would apply through PACE, which would be run publicly but funded privately.

It would be attractive to applicants, according to the proposal, because loan rates might be cheaper; attractive to lenders because their investments would be secure, repaid over time through applicant’s tax bills; and attractive to governments because it would boost property quality and promote alternative energy industries.

But Commissioner Nate McLaughlin worried that the program could become a government tax lean.

“It’s a very dangerous program,” McLaughlin said. “I think there are some consequences down the road with this thing, when it rears its ugly head.”

Commissioner George Hanns was in support.

“The bottom line is it creates jobs and gets people to work,” he said, “and that’s exactly what we need here in Flagler County.”

The Board’s approval in no way obligates it to instate the program locally down the road.


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