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Government Task Force moves ahead with NYPA review

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Local Government Task Force members say they are very near to finishing a revised agreement which they hope will convince the New York Power Authority to review the terms of the relicensing agreement for the now 63-year old power project which resulted in the flooding of the seaway.

The 2003 relicensing settlement agreement provided benefits to the host communities surrounding the St. Lawrence-FDR Power project, including $16 million and 20 megawatts of hydropower, in lieu of the losses in taxable land.

But Local Government Task Force members say the relicensing agreement reached with the St. Lawrence-FDR project municipalities was considerably less fair than the package for entities within the Niagara Project boundaries in Western New York.

Task Force members are hoping the agreement, penned by Wladis Law Firm, Syracuse, will be drafted within the next two months, and they hope to begin discussions with NYPA by the end of the year.

“We’re continuing to meet with the attorney,” task force member Mark Scott said. “We’re talking about strategy for moving forward. We’re going to discuss when the meeting will occur, but it hasn’t been set as of yet.”

Several public entities are attached to the project, including the Town and Village of Massena, Town and Village of Waddington, Town of Louisville, Massena School District, Madrid-Waddington School District and St. Lawrence County government.

“There are number issues brought up by each of the municipalities that will be discussed in the talks,” he said.

Mr. Scott said the terms of the new agreement could not be discussed, per an agreement with the attorneys.

“We’re certainly working diligently to put our case together,” he said. “We hope they’ll come to the table and we’ll have a positive outcome.”

The Local Government Task Force will meet in the Waddington Municipal building Wednesday at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

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