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Government Task Force requests meeting with NYPA

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St. Lawrence Local Government Task Force members asked the New York Power Authority to renegotiate conditions outlined in the St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project’s 2003 relicensing settlement agreement in a letter sent Tuesday.

Those stipulations include “unanticipated events” that occured after the relicensing, according to the letter signed by Task Force Chairman and Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray.

Mr. Gray said that several economic factors, including the closing of the General Motors plant in 2008, call for a new settlement.

“No one in their wildest dreams could have predicted in 2002 the implosion of General Motors,” Mr. Gray said. “It was a $13 million hit to the Massena tax base, not to mention the loss of jobs. It put a bigger property tax burden on the people in the community.”

Mr. Gray said that the Task Force could also not have predicted that the settlement in Western New York for the Niagara Power Project would be 8 times larger than those affected by the St. Lawrence Power Project.

“No one is arguing that the Niagara Project isn’t bigger than the St. Lawrence-Power Project, but there was a lot less shoreline and property involved in Niagara,” Mr. Gray said. “NYPA’s project effects 35 miles of shoreline and public and private access is restricted within 90 percent of property inside the project boundary’s shoreline.”

Task force members have requested the review to be on or after Oct. 15.

“We are confident that the New York Power Authority and its board of directors and the governor want to be responsible for its citizens and give the host communities what is due compared with the Niagara Power Project,” Mr. Gray said.

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