February 10, 2012
New York

Lawmakers blast rule on power plants

By Bill Brown, Genesee Correspondent, The Buffalo News, www.buffalonews.com 10 February 2012

BATAVIA—The Genesee County Legislature wants the state to cancel an 18- month-old law that would permit a state board to site electric generating facilities without a municipality’s input or consent.

The Power of New York Act of 2011 has added a clause that removed decision-making on such facilities from the local elected government and “puts it in the hands of a bureaucratic state board,” a Legislature resolution states.

It adds: “The Genesee County Legislature opposes, protests and expresses deep disappointment and concerns over a siting board that will remove power from the local jurisdiction and transfer it to a faceless bureaucracy, which has no constituency.”

The resolution complains that the “large majority of the Electric Generation Siting Board will have no connection to the affected communities and will not be affected by their decisions.”

The belated protest may have been prompted by the New York State Association of Counties, which Legislature Chairwoman Mary Pat Hancock now heads.

In other business Wednesday, the Legislature:

• Approved 2012 capital projects, including $40,000 for Genesee Justice, an agency that now occupies the century-old former Sheriff’s Office building; $30,000 for a new roof and fireplaces at the county park; and $10,500 to replace a pavilion roof at DeWitt Park. Capital funds come from an added one-percent sales tax.

• Accepted a state Homeland Security and Emergency Services grant of $228,309 for a VHF narrow banding project for the Sheriff’s Office headquarters. The low-frequency system would serve all emergency services.

• Awarded the Genesee-Orleans Arts Council $6,905 to promote music and art appreciation. The grant, first funded in 1993, has been cut 25 percent in the past three years, as have many other nonprofit organizations that receive county money.

• Authorized a contract with the Rochester Institute of Technology, which makes it possible to accept $7,223 secured by the county’s Job Development Bureau. The program helps workers and those seeking employment.

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