Sunday, January 16, 2011

History Lesson on Low Cost Power in Oswego County

A little history lesson for County Republicans on the low-cost electricity program, which expired Dec. 31. that they are now claiming credit for. The Democratic Minority of the County Legislature fought for the negotiations of the PILOT or tax agreements to include low cost power not the Republican Majority.

The Republican Majority just wanted to hand over millions in tax breaks for NOTHING. The Democratic County Legislators fought in committee and on the floor to have included in the negotiations low cost power. The Republican Majority finally gave in and got a minor concession of 10 megawatts of power.

We urge the citizens of Oswego County to make it clear this time NO PILOT without LOW COST POWER FOR OSWEGO COUNTY!!!

OC

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Posting Date: 08-12-2000

Minority Point of View

As summer rolls on to fall, an opportunity is passing by the people of Oswego County. For the past eight months, the Government Committee of the Oswego County Legislature has been aware that Sithe Energies wants to build an expansion of the existing facility. During this time, the minority has tried to get Government Committee Chairman Jack Proud to understand how momentous this is.

Unfortunately, Jack can’t seem to fantom that the time to get industry to give you benefits is when they come ‘hat in hand’ to get a tax break. After they get their special low rate of taxation, there is no incentive on their part to decide to give low-cost power, $250,000 to an elementary school, $1,000,000 in scholarship money, or $3,000,000 to a Community Trust Fund.

All these benefits were gotten for the County of Greene by the negotiations of the Athens Town Board when the Athens Generating Company came to them for approval to build a generating plant.

The Generating Plant in Athens is a 1,080 mega watt plant compared to the 1,012 mega watt plant put in Scriba previously by Sithe. Where are our benefits from the plant? Where is our low-cost power or other benefits? Sithe got its break and that ended the story.

Now Sithe is coming back to the table for a new generating facility. We may have been in the darkbefore as to what benefits could be achieved, but we aren’t now. In fact, it would be nice if Sithe would give us extra low cost power since that ‘host benefit’ was conveniently forgotten the first time around.

We in the minority are concerned that we aren’t caught behind the door as the parade goes by this time. A statement by the Athens Town Board accents our position.

"As all towns in New York, the town board is made up of five everyday, regular people. Each of us has our own job and family to take care of. We have our own personal reasons for wanting to serve our community as elected officials. None of us ever imagined the very difficult and complex issues we would be called upon to work through with the Athens Generating proposal.

Considering the difficult and limited options available to us, we have done our very best to protect the people and the future of Athens, N.Y."

When the IDA agreement with Sithe Phase Two is culminated, we in the minority would like to be able to state sincerely that we have done "our very best to protect the people and future of Oswego County."

We need Chairman Floyd Boynton to convene a bipartisan team immediately to meet with the IDA and Sithe for the good of all.

Members of the Minority Caucus:

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