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These questions were raised during the Annual Meeting. Here you will find the answers.

What does the bond include?  What do we do if the company does not pay the rent? Is there a possibility of bonding it so we don’t have to sue to collect rent?

A. The bond requirement is to cover the financial responsibility for remediating or decommissioning the project site should the Tenant not fulfill their obligations imposed under the lease. 

While lease guarantee bonds exist, this requirement of the Tenant could not be achieved in the lease agreement.  However, the lease does provide that in the event of default by the Tenant, Abingdon would serve notice on the financial lenders / backers of the project.  The lenders, to protect their interests in the project, though not obligated to cure the default, maintain the right to either cure the rent default or step in and enter into a new lease with Abingdon on the same terms as we currently have with the Tenant, in which case they would pay the unpaid rent.  Should Abingdon not be paid by the intercession of the project lenders, we would file suit to collect the rent.  

 

Will the rent collected appreciate over the life of the lease?

Yes.  The annual rental payment described in this subsection will increase each year by an amount equal to two percent (2%) of the initial annual rental payment.  Assuming an initial annual lease payment of $50,000, the annual lease payments would increase each year by $1,000.

 

Do the revenues received from leasing the land affect our status as a non-profit?

No.  Though taxes will have to be paid on solar project income, as set forth in the Solar Resolution with Background piece on our website, this does not in any way affect Abingdon’s status as a non-profit.

 

How long has the 76 acre parcel proposed to be used for the solar project (Tax Map No. 39-131) been a part of our historic church?

This parcel was an adjacent parcel purchased by Abingdon on December 2, 1997, from the White Marsh Real Estate Trust.  This trust had acquired the land for possible housing development through 2 transactions with 2 different landowners, one in 1972 and one in 1981. 

Concerning Abingdon’s purchase, as stated In the Minutes of Congregational Meeting of November 23, 1997, Item V.:

 “The Vestry thought it was prudent to act decisively in acquiring the land so that we could control how the land might be used in the future.  The vision for this property growing out of the Long Range Planning Committee is to develop a retirement community on the land along with a community recreational area and possibly a site for the Free Clinic, which we are in the process of founding.  The Vestry has accepted a contract in the amount of $190,000.  John Bowditch asked on behalf of the Vestry for a vote of support for this purchase from the congregation.  …  [Discussion followed.]  … A motion was made and seconded from the floor to support the Vestry’s decision to purchase the land.  The motion passed unanimously.”

 

If Abingdon approves the Solar Resolution, what governmental reviews and approvals are then necessary for the project to actually become reality?

TGE is waiting on Abingdon’s decision as a fairly large property owner, and a few other properties’ decisions, to have the complete plan of the properties in their proposed project which will total about 1,000 acres.  They will then take their environmental consultant’s report to the Army Corps of Engineers for their review of the wetlands delineation of the properties in the project.  TGE will then file an application, including a concept plan, with the Gloucester County Planning and Zoning Department seeking approval of the necessary Conditional Use Permit.  Planning and Zoning usually tries to make a recommendation -- either of approval, approval with modifications, or denial -- which may or may not be accepted as the application goes to the next step --  consideration by the Gloucester County Planning Commission.  TGE and interested parties would express their views before the Planning Commission at a public hearing.  The Planning Commission would then deliberate and make a recommendation to Gloucester’s Board of Supervisors (“BOS”).   The BOS would then also hold its own public hearing for the expression of views and issue a final decision approving or denying the CUP application.  If the BOS denies the application, the matter is basically dead.  Nothing similar can be applied for by TGE for one year.  If the BOS approves the project concept, TGE would then file a detailed Application, Site Plan and pay the fee to the County’s Site Plan Coordinator.  Then the combined County inter-departmental and state agency Site Plan Committee would undertake the necessary zoning, health, building, environmental and VDOT reviews and permitting.  It should be noted that these are the procedures that TGE would follow whether or not the congregation approves Abingdon’s participation in the project.  Also, at the Planning Commission’s last meeting, it decided to recommend that the BOS adopt a moratorium on the acceptance of Conditional Use Permit applications for solar projects until the Planning Commission and the BOS resume in-person meetings and can consider possible changes to the procedures relating to solar projects.