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Sun., Oct. 4
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Task Force chairman calls initial meeting with NYPA “positive”


No decisions were made between St. Lawrence Local Government Task Force and the New York Power Authority Thursday regarding changes to the St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project’s 2003 relicensing settlement.

“It was a positive kickoff, and we set another meeting date,” Task Force Chairman and Massena Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said following the meeting.

Every 10 years after the relicensing, NYPA is required to review the terms of the agreement with the Task Force.

The St. Lawrence-FDR agreement gave the towns of Lisbon, Waddington, Louisville and Massena, their school districts and St. Lawrence County $115 million as part of the settlement. NYPA also agreed to pay $116 million for recreational and environmental improvements, and to transfer property within the project boundary back to adjoining landowners. The land transfer later was deemed unconstitutional because a public entity cannot legally transfer property to private parties for less than fair market value.

But shortly after the 2003 settlement was reached, NYPA forged a $973 million relicensing settlement with Western New York Communities to continue operating the Niagara project.

That deal, combined “unanticipated events” such as the closing of General Motors plant in 2008, are just cause for a review of the agreement’s terms, Task Force members say.

“We haven’t sent them a list yet of things we are looking for yet,” Mr. Gray said. “We didn’t get into the nuts and bolts of the issues. The first meeting was about developing a process on how to move forward.”

While no timeline set for the end of the review, but Mr. Gray said that he doesn’t anticipate the process will last longer than “year or two.”

The Task Force and NYPA will meet again Jan. 29.

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