Senate passes bill requiring St. Lawrence County representation on New York Power Authority board
A bill to require at least one New York Power Authority trustee be from St. Lawrence County has passed the state Senate.
Co-sponsor Patty Ritchie of Heuvelton, 48th District senator, said the measure is vital to insuring that the agency works as a partner with northern New York for job creation and economic growth.Citing the example of current NYPA trustee Eugene Nicandri, a retired St. Lawrence County Court Judge, as an example, Ritchie said it is important that the county have a voice.
“NYPA’s St. Lawrence County hydro facilities generate low-cost power that benefits our entire state, but it is also an economic engine for Northern New York,” Ritchie said, as she spoke on the Senate floor.
“The investments and decisions made by NYPA have a profound impact on jobs and the economy, as well as the quality of life of the communities and constituents I represent,” she said.
“We are fortunate right now to have a very capable and effective representative on the NYPA Board in Judge Eugene Nicandri, who is a resident of St. Lawrence County. And NYPA's new leadership, including NYPA Board Member John Dyson and President Gil Quinones, have been attentive and responsive to my communities. But that has not always been the case.
This bill will help insure that our communities continue to have a voice in NYPA’s future, and in decisions that affect the North Country.
The bill is also cosponsored by Sen. Joseph Griffo of Rome, 47th District. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblywoman Addie Russell.
Ritchie noted that NYPA is one of the region’s biggest employers, and among its largest landowners.
“Over half a century ago, St. Lawrence County made huge sacrifices to help New York State tame the St. Lawrence River to create power that’s been used to reduce electric bills for individuals and businesses across the state as well as New York City,” Ritchie said.
“Many St. Lawrence County families lost farms, businesses and homes. More than 30 miles of shoreline from Lisbon to Massena were taken through eminent domain and hundreds of thousands of acres of prime real estate were flooded to produce low cost power for the rest of the state.”