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Elmore County Commission votes to continue considering nuclear plant rezone June 15, 2009

Posted by cleanidahoenergy in Uncategorized.
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Commissioners note contradictions in comprehensive land use plan and ask their Planning and Zoning commission to consider economic goals and a development agreement for power plant

June 15, 2009
For more information, contact:
Don Gillispie, 208-939-9311
Martin Johncox, 208-658-9100
www.alternateenergyholdings.com

Facebook http://groups.to/nuclear
Blog: www.cleanidahoenergy.wordpress.com
Twitter: @aehi

Alternate Energy Holdings Inc.(AEHI:PK), an investor-funded company seeking to build an advanced third-generation nuclear power plant in Southwest Idaho, said it is pleased at a unanimous decision by Elmore County Commissioners today to consider in more detail a proposal to rezone land for a proposed nuclear power plant.

The company has applied to Elmore County to rezone 1,300 acres of land for the plant, which would use 200 acres and leave the rest in farming. The three-member commission began discussing the issue June 8 and continued discussion until today while legal staff continued researching issues.

In deliberations Monday, Commissioner Connie Cruser said the current discussion reminds her of 40 years ago, when her high school debate team discussed the Hells Canyon Dam complex, which is Idaho’s largest power plant at nearly 400 megawatts.

“The very same questions were discussed back then: water and farmland and infrastructure,” Cruser said. “It was an important decision then and I’m glad they made the right decision because we’ve had a lot of years of electricity. This is an important decision not just for Elmore County, but the state and region.”

AEHI CEO and President Don Gillispie said the commission is clearly seeking to balance Elmore County’s rural heritage with its goals for economic development. Gillispie has previously said the county’s comprehensive plan is well-intentioned, but could not have foreseen the possibility of a large-output, carbon-free power plant that would stimulate thousands of jobs.

“As our plans progress, we hope the commission realizes that our proposed plant will serve both rural preservation and economic development,” Gillispie said. “The commission today could have rejected our rezone request outright – to the delight of our opposition – but they instead chose to give it, and their comprehensive plan, further consideration.”

One commissioner noted the comprehensive plan apparently limits industrial growth “only” to a small zone in the north of the county. But the area has no water or services and a questionable ability to support the heavy industry that can provide reliable, well-paying jobs for county residents; there is little land available for sale at that location as well. The commission voted Monday to ask its advisory Planning and Zoning commission to clarify if heavy industry may be developed in other areas of the county.

“The comprehensive plan says we want to try and encourage new business in the county, that’s the general feeling, but the word ‘only’ is an issue,” said Commissioner Arlie Shaw.

“This is too important of an issue to decide on one word in the comprehensive plan,” Cruser said. “We knew things would come up and you can’t foresee everything” in a comprehensive plan. The AEHI application “is not in conflict with the comp plan in every area and I would like to see it go back to P and Z.”

Commission Chairman Larry Rose made the motion for the Planning and Zoning commission to consider to what extent the comp plan may need to be changed to reflect the best interests of the county with regard to industrial development.

“The comprehensive plan is only a plan [guide line for the county]. It obviously can and should be changed as time goes along,” Rose said. The AEHI proposal “really doesn’t fit with anything that was brought up in the meetings” to create the comp plan.

The Commission also directed the Planning and Zoning Commission to work with AEHI on drafting a development agreement. The agreement would state the general conditions under which the land may be used if rezoned. If it turns out the nuclear plant isn’t built, the development agreement will specify the land would revert to agricultural zoning. AEHI initially submitted a development agreement to do that, but withdrew it when it was discovered the county’s guidance was in conflict with state law regarding the time frame. The company agreed to resubmit as is when the time frame conflict was resolved.

In other AEHI news, on June 5, the company announced it signed an agreement with Source Capital Group Inc. to raise money for the project. The funds will cover land, water rights and engineering services to obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to construct and operate an advanced nuclear plant in Elmore County, Idaho, estimated to total some $70 million. Every company that has undertaken the NRC application process has successfully completed it and received a construction/operation license.

The Elmore County Commission in April heard more than four hours of testimony in favor of AEHI’s request to rezone land for the plant, with over 500 supporters packing the hearing room.

About Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (www.alternateenergyholdings.com)

Alternate Energy Holdings develops and markets innovative clean energy sources.  Current projects include the Idaho Energy Complex (an advanced nuclear plant and bio-fuel generation facility), Energy Neutral which removes energy demands from homes and businesses (www.energyneutralinc.com), Colorado Energy Park(nuclear and solar generating plants) and International Reactors, Inc., which assists developing countries with nuclear reactors for power generation, production of potable water and other suitable applications.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Sections 27A & 21E of the amended Securities and Exchange Acts of 1933-34,which are intended to be covered by the safe harbors created thereby.  Although AEHI believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements contained herein are reasonable, there can be no    assurance that these statements included in this press release will prove accurate.

US Investor Relations:

208-939-9311

invest@aehipower.co

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