A Dunkirk businessman is offering a free lunch to anyone attending the press conference today at the city of Dunkirk pier.
Jim Payne, owner of Payne's Kettle and Keg and Rosie's Red Hots located at 7-17 Lake Shore Drive East, is offering a free lunch consisting of a Sahlen's hot dog, curly fries and soda to anyone willing to come to the pier to support the efforts of NRG Energy, Inc, along with our state and local officials.
"Although we are not officially open yet we wanted to do this because it is such an important issue," Payne explained.
OBSERVER Photo by Matt Panebianco
Jim Payne is offering free hog dog, friees and drink to those who attend today’s NRG press conference at the city pier at 1 p.m.
His hope is that if enough people show up it will convince Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Energy Highway Task Force that by helping NRG to modernize and compete in today's environment would be in everyone's best interest.
"It would create short-term jobs during construction and some long-term jobs upon its completion, but the biggest prize of all is it will secure NRG's presence in Dunkirk for many years. Being a taxpayer in the city I believe losing NRG would have catastrophic effect on our property taxes, especially on our school district. We our stuggeling now to offer our youth the basics in education could you imagine what would happen by losing NRG's contribution to our community?" Payne explained. "I strongly believe in what they are trying to do. Since the plea was to get as many people to come to the pier as possible for the press conference, I am willing to provide lunch to anybody that attends the rally."
Payne said tickets would be distributed at the pier for redemption at Rosie's Red Hots.
"We're preparing for as many as 500 lunches. We can only hope the crowd will be that large," Payne concluded.
Sen. Catharine Young (R,C,I 57th District) will chair a group of business, civic, and labor leaders, as well as elected officials, and will announce a coalition in support of a repowering project to construct a new, state-of-the-art gas-fired, environmentally-friendly facility run by NRG Dunkirk. Also speaking at the press conference will be Assemblyman Andrew Goodell; Dunkirk Mayor A.J. Dolce; Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards; Local 97, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Ted Skerpon; and Jon Baylor, Director of Development for NRG, Northeast region.