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Government Task Force moves ahead with NYPA review

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OGDENSBURG — Local Government Task Force members said they are close to finishing a revised agreement that they hope will persuade the New York Power Authority to renegotiate the terms for relicensing the St. Lawrence-FDR Power project in Massena.

The 2003 relicensing settlement provided benefits to the communities surrounding the 63-year-old power project, including $16 million and 20 megawatts of hydropower, in lieu of the losses in taxable land.

But Local Government Task Force members claim the deal that area municipalities received was considerably less fair than the package offered to entities in the Niagara Project 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, the town and village of Waddington, the town of Louisville, St. Lawrence County and the Massena and Madrid-Waddington school districts.

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

He said the terms of the proposed settlement 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 at 7 p.m. Wednesday. The meeting is open to the public.

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