$750 Million Offer Approved For Gainesville Renewable Energy Center

The Gainesville City Commission is moving forward with buying out the controversial biomass plant as a way to exit a multi-billion dollar contract. Commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday for its utility’s general manager, Ed Bielarski, to draft a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) offering $750 million to buyout the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, which is commonly […]

The Gainesville City Commission is moving forward with buying out the controversial biomass plant as a way to exit a multi-billion dollar contract.

Commissioners voted 5-2 Wednesday for its utility’s general manager, Ed Bielarski, to draft a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) offering $750 million to buyout the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, which is commonly referred to as the biomass plant. The decision took place during the commission’s joint meeting with the Utility Advisory Board, whose members provide recommendations to the city for decisions regarding Gainesville Regional Utilities.

The UAB elected to stick with its initial recommendation, voting 4-1, with Michael Selvester in dissent, to offer GREC $675 million again, despite the offer already being rejected by GREC President Jim Gordon.

Commissioner Carter, who flipped from his previous stance, said the boards are at a disadvantage by GREC officials having access to watch the public meetings. “Mr. Gordon would be an idiot, an absolute idiot, to take anything less than 750 (million dollars),” Carter said.

Bielarski will sign and send Gordon an MOU similar to the previous drafted agreement, with a stipulation that the city produces the first drafted contract, and await a response. The two sides have been in serious negotiations for the biomass acquisition for several months.

From The Gainesville Sun: http://www.gainesville.com/news/20170419/city-approves-750m-offer-for-grec

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