To the Editor:
My name is Ralph Avallone and I am founder and president of the National Green Energy Council, an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. We have assisted many communities across our great nation in creating partnerships that are profitable, create jobs and reduce taxpayer subsidies.
My comments to your newspaper come as a result of an amazing opportunity presented to Prairieland officials in Truman in May 2013 by myself and Mr. Robert Weerts, CEO of a Winnebago-based company called Green Photon Power. We offered the opportunity to create a public-private partnership at Prairieland.
Since May, Mr. Weerts has spent more than $20,000 pursuing a partnership that was endorsed by both the Faribault and Martin County commissioners, and unanimously accepted by the Prairieland board of directors as a great opportunity to cure the economic ills of Prairieland.
After 20 years of producing a compost whose quality is nothing less than deplorable, Prairieland is a plant with worn-out equipment, turning out a product that it admits nobody wants.
Green Photon Power has proposed to make this site a public-private partnership and, more importantly, profitable. This partnership would allow both counties to revenue share in the following:
o The counties would receive monies from the sale of a marketable compost.
o The counties would receive monies from the recycling operation.
o The counties would receive monies from a bottling facility.
o The counties would receive monies from a plasma arc energy plant.
In conclusion, these facts remain:
o Prairieland leadership has changed but the balance sheet continues to lose money for both counties.
o Prairieland has cut jobs instead of create them. Green Photon Power's plan creates revenue, new jobs and more economic development for the community.
o Green Photon Power seeks a 30-year public-private partnership agreement, something allowed by federal and state law for the proposal set forth to Prairieland. The laws allow for Green Photon Power to be designated by the counties as a master redeveloper of the Prairieland site. The Green Photon Power plan would allow the counties and the state to supersede the RFP or RFQ process.
o Private capital would be paid for the partnership by Green Photon Power. There would be no cost to the counties or taxpayers for fixups at the facility.
My hope is that your readers and the residents of Truman, Martin and Faribault counties will rise up to demand that government actually lead. Lead in the charge to make a bad investment 20 years ago become a new profitable partnership for its future.
I urge the Prairieland board of directors to make the right decision: Partner with Green Photon Power and create a better opportunity for the future of Truman, Martin and Faribault counties.
International Green Energy Council
National Green Energy Council