State Senators James L. Seward and Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) said today that more than $418,000 in senate funding pledged by the senate Republican majority to help battle NYRI's proposed power line had been disbursed to the agency handling the bills for Communities Against Regional Interconnect (CARI). CARI is the umbrella organization coordinating local opposition to NYRI's proposal and it comprises counties along the NYRI route.
"When NYRI first reared its ugly utility pole, Republican senators representing the affected counties stepped up, stood with our constituents, and pledged $1 million in financial support to local communities fighting the power line," Seward said. "Today, I am pleased to say that a substantial down payment on our pledge has been delivered."
"NYRI's high-powered legal manuevers won't dissuade the passion and conviction of its opponents. We know we're in the right. It's 'put-up' or 'shut-up' and my colleagues and I are committed to seeing this through until all of our legislative actions are exhausted or until NYRI gives up." said Senator Joseph Griffo, (R-Rome).
"NYRI’s power line scheme would hurt our picturesque rural landscape, reduce our property values and potentially increase the cost of our power in Chenango and Broome Counties and across our entire region," said Senator Tom Libous. "Senators Seward, Larkin, Griffo, Bonacic and I are committed to fighting NYRI every step of the way to stop the power line from going up."
The senate funding is routed through Mohawk Valley EDGE, a local nonprofit that handles the funding for CARI.
Funding had been stalled by the attorney general and the state comptroller over contract issues, and Republican senators were instrumental in breaking the logjam and ensuring that the money was kept on track and disbursed. The money has been used for legal expenses to challenge NYRI's application to the Public Service Commission for permission to build the line and various administrative costs. Senators Seward, Bonacic, Griffo, Libous, Larkin also won legislation that has been upheld in the courts that would prohibit the use of eminent domain by NYRI to site the power line.
"With the senate money moving, we hope that the assembly majority will step up and provide funding for the next round of the communities' battle to stop the unnecessary monstrosity of a power line from being sited," Seward said.