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Wind energy developer to update Charleston school board

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CHARLESTON — The Charleston School board is expecting to receive an overview on its upcoming tax levy and an update from APEX Clean Energy on Wednesday night.

The Virginia energy company is developing a 300 megawatt project in Coles County dubbed "Coles Wind."

Representatives will attend to provide an update on the project and what it means for the school district, including an overview of an economic impact study they conducted for the Coles County area.

APEX Clean Energy is projecting investment in local area school districts throughout the course of the project, said Superintendent Todd Vilardo.

"A really big component of that is the property tax revenue that a wind farm pays," said Max Jabrixio, the public engagement manager with APEX Clean Energy. "Schools are one of the huge beneficiaries have property tax revenue from projects like this."

The Coles Wind project is expected to bring $1.5 million from property tax revenue in the first year of operation, said Jabrixio. The project is expected to be operational near the end of 2025.

The funds from property taxes will also impact Oakland and Mattoon school districts, said Assistant Superintendent Chad Burgett.

Burgett will be giving an overview of the tax levy he will formally present to the board in November.

This year's initial levy will be $15,096,000, said Burgett.

"I don't know if we'll get that much, but that's what we're going to request," said Burgett.

The Charleston School board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at 410 Polk Ave. in Charleston.

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