Cash is king in county dealings with Enel

Board inclined to reject letter of credit and ask for cash deposit for decommissioning payment


CLINTON — During their May regular meeting, DeWitt County Board members addressed a letter of credit submitted by Enel Green Energy.

The letter is intended to provide financial backing in the event of a decommissioning of the Alta Farms II wind facility, which began operation about a year ago.

At issue was the fact the letter was drawn from a European bank with a branch in New York.  Enel is an Italian-based company.

“I noticed the letter was on a French bank with a New York branch,” board vice chairman Terry Ferguson said.  “I wonder the degree of longevity and safety of a letter of credit on an international bank.”

Ferguson said U.S. banks generally were protected by the federal government if one failed.

European banks do have a degree of protection under the Deposit Guarantee Scheme of the European Banking Authority.

“Where would we be if this French bank goes down,” Ferguson asked.

Board administrative assistant and zoning administrator Dee Dee Rentmeister said the board has to approve how the decommissioning payment is made, whether through a letter of credit or a bond, etc.

“Or cash,” Ferguson asked.

• Read the complete story in the Friday, May 31 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition for subscribers.