Massena trustees agree to allow NYPA to repurpose funds to attract new businesses to region

pMASSENA — Village trustees have agreed to let the New York Power Authority repurpose some funds designated under the 10-year review of the 2003 settlement agreement to help bring new businesses into the area./ppThe funds — $10 million annually for three years — are currently being used to provide reduced electric costs for businesses and active dairy farms in the Preservation Power region of St. Lawrence, Jefferson and Franklin counties. Funding for the Temporary North Country Power Discount Program ends in 2017, Mayor Timmy J. Currier told trustees Tuesday. It covers 858 farms in St. Lawrence County, /pp“That money is going to farms to reduce their electricity costs. That part of the agreement expires next year,” he said./ppInstead, NYPA officials want to use the balance of the funding — $2 million a year over a five-year period — to support a collaborative marketing effort to bring new Preservation Power customers to the region./pp“NYPA approached us. They want to repurpose some remaining funds. Instead of spending that $10 million in that one year, the balance would be spread out over five years,” Mr. Currier said./ppWith Alcoa’s reduced purchases of Preservation Power, NYPA has more than 230 megawatts of uncontracted Preservation Power, which by law must be contracted for business use in the three-county region. NYPA officials will work with local communities to identify, attract and facilitate the creation or expansion of businesses that can be users of Preservation Power. The effort would run for five years, or until contracts for all available Preservation Power have been executed./ppMr. Currier said a number of entities support the move. The Massena Town Council approved the resolution during a meeting last week./pp“So, these reductions in electric bills, is it something the farmers have been promised and are counting on?” Deputy Mayor Matthew J. LeBire said./ppMr. Currier said it would likely impact them./pp“They could be counting on them,” he said./pp“What guarantee is there that power is going to stay (in the north country)?” Trustee Francis J. Carvel asked./pp“This particular portion is a five-year commitment,” Mr. Currier said./ppVoting in favor of the resolution were Mr. Currier, Mr. LeBire and Trustee Albert “Herb” Deshaies. Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld, a New York Power Authority employee, abstained, and Mr. Carvel voted no./p

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