Kudos to Senator Cathy Young for bringing the NRG repowering proposal right to the people who would be impacted the most. Because of her efforts, the state Public Service Commission has scheduled a public hearing on the issue at SUNY Fredonia on July 15. This hearing will give concerned Western New Yorkers a chance to have their voices heard in the process. We strongly encourage all local businesses, employees and stakeholders to attend and to speak on behalf of the NRG proposal.
NRG has proposed a $700 million investment to convert its aging coal-fired plant in Dunkirk into a natural gas powered facility. The move would improve the environment, preserve and create jobs, and continue to provide electric power generation that is needed throughout New York state and the country. At the same time, it will help to preserve the tax base in the city of Dunkirk and all of Chautauqua County. National Grid has offered an alternative plan which would shut down the NRG plant and install upgraded transmission lines instead, although it is unclear where the replacement power would be generated.
Senator Young has been leading the fight to save the NRG plant and is chairing the Power Up WNY coalition supporting efficient, long-term energy projects in Western New York. She requested the hearing specifically so that local residents would have a chance to speak, after Senator Young and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell fought for recent legislation that requires the PSC to consider the economic impact on a community when decisions are being made to shut down power plants.
Senator Young said, "The future of the NRG power plant holds profound consequences for our people and community. It is the largest taxpayer in Chautauqua County, and the school and city receive an enormous share of their budgets from the NRG PILOT payment. If the plant closes, we lose our tax base, jobs, and our ability to generate Western New York power. The potential for massive property tax increases and devastating school, city and county layoffs is very real."
The public hearing will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room at the Williams Center on the SUNY Fredonia campus on Monday, July 15. Presentations by National Grid and NRG, with a question and answer period, will be held from 6-7 p.m. Public testimony will follow, beginning at 7 p.m., with an administrative law judge presiding.
Your participation is crucial. We strongly encourage supporters of the NRG repowering proposal to make their voices heard. In addition, we continue to encourage local residents to provide written comments for the PSC. A link to their comment page for this case is provided on the Chamber's website at www.chautauquachamber.org. The PSC's public comment period closes July 26 and the agency is expected to make a final decision on the project in August or September.
Special County Fair Preview Night for Chamber members
Once again this year, the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce will provide its members with a special preview evening and networking event at the Chautauqua County Fair. This special Chamber event is scheduled for Thursday, July 18 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. You can enjoy fair food, stroll along the midway, and have a great evening with other Chamber members and friends!
This event is sponsored by DFT Communications, Fredonia Place, GPI Greenman-Pederson, Jamestown Jammers Baseball, Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York, Nestle Purina PetCare, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal.
The cost is just $10 for pre-registered guests, or $12 for walk-ins. Register online at www.chautauquachamber.org, or call the Chamber at 484-1101 or 366-6200.
Chamber Golf Tournament Aug. 15
The 2013 Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Annual Golf Tournament will be held Thursday, Aug. 15 at Peek'n Peak. This year's event offers golfers a chance to play on the Peek's Upper Course - a championship caliber course which offers optimum playing conditions in a spectacular setting. In addition, each team can choose whether they want to play a scramble or a two best ball format this year.
The Chamber Golf Tournament is being sponsored this year by DFT Communications, Community Bank NA, Cummins, Inc., Fredonia Place, GHD Consulting Engineers, Greater Woodlawn FCU, Lake Shore Savings Bank, Lawley-Tradition LLC, National Fuel Gas, Ed Shults Chevrolet, Inc., the OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. For more information or to register, visit the Chamber website at www.chautauquachamber.org, or call 484-1101 or 366-6200.