Request rejected to transfer tax incentive agreement

Written by ECA Review

Judy Fazekas, corporate services director for Starland County, brought forward an email she received during the Aug. 9 council meeting.

The email was from BluEarth Renewables (BER) Hand Hills Wind LP requesting Starland County sign a form for their bank.

On Mar. 30, 2022, Starland County entered a tax incentive agreement that deferred certain taxes.

“Now, once the development is up and running, they as a lender to BER want our authorization to be able to assign the tax incentive agreement, basically to anyone that defaults on their loan,” explained Fazekas, speaking on how ATB would have jurisdiction instead of the county.

“So that means that they can get all the rights and privileges and obligations, they can transfer it to another party, a third party, without your consent.”

Coun. Jackie Watts expressed her opinion on the request saying, “That’s not their jurisdiction.” The rest of council backed up this opinion.

Fazekas explained to council that when she received this email, she told them no and that the county has no agreements allowing that.

Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Robblee also explained the issues with what they are requesting. If council signed this agreement, there is the possibility that they may not have to pay back what was deferred as per the original agreement.

Council denied the request.

Creation of new position
Council has approved administration’s request to create a new position of Financial Services Manager.

Fazekas presented the information to council, stating that she needed help and could not keep up anymore.

“I am requesting authorization to create a new position of Financial Services Manager which essentially was the job that I originally came here to do,” said Fazekas.
“Over the last couple of years, that original position has just morphed into something very different and this was caused largely because of staff vacancies and a couple of resignations.”

The new position would require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, commerce or a related field.

The financial services manager would oversee the daily financial operations and supervise the administrative assistants’ work.

Fazekas expressed her concern over the jobs she is currently doing as they are not meeting insurance requirements, as she is signing cheques and reconciling the bank accounts, which goes against insurance requirements.

With a new person dealing with daily financials, they would meet the insurance requirement.

Making the position a manager position allows for succession planning, which Starland County does not currently have in place.

Watts questioned why the position needed to be a supervisory position, which Fazekas answered by explaining that one person should only supervise so many people and that if she is gone, they will need someone with supervisory experience.

Fazekas also brought up that if she were to take a day off, there would be no one to fill in for her.

“The only person who can cover for Judy right now is me,” said Robblee, explaining he would not be able to complete his chief administrative assistant work while filling in.

Coun. John Rew expressed his opinion on the position saying, “it looks like we need another person then.”

Council approved the new position.

Jessica Campbell
ECA Review

About the author

ECA Review

Our newspaper is only as good as its contributors and we thank each one who submits stories, photos and opinions. If you have a news item, photos or opinion to share please submit it to