The New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees this week approved allocations that total almost three megawatts of power to six North Country enterprises, including R. T. Vandervilt Co. of Gouverneur.
The power allotment is linked to creation of more than 400 jobs and significant capital investments in the region, NYPA officials said.
NYPA says the key recipients are HP Hood in LaFargeville and Jain Irrigation in Watertown, both in Jefferson County. Vanderbilt was the only organization from St. Lawrence County to qualify under this round of allotments.
Under previous allotments, organizations in St. Lawrence County that have benefited under the ReCharge New York program include Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Clarkson University, Claxton Hepburn Medical Center in Ogdensburg, Corning Incorporated in Canton, Edward John Noble Hospital in Gouverneur, R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Inc.'s Gouverneur Mineral Division, Reynolds Metals Company in Massena, and St. Lawrence University, Canton.
The low-cost power tied to the ReCharge New York program will start to be made available to customers on July 1.
State Sen. Joseph Griffo (R-Rome) said the new allotments are an improvement because they are no longer short-term allocations.
“Businesses who were aware of the old Power for Jobs program would tell me a recurring message, they love the benefits, but hated the uncertainty of its year-to-year renewal. Changes should’ve been adopted years ago. We improved it to make it permanent, to take the guesswork out; made it a more reliable program and increased its capacity so that more employers will be eligible for the benefits. There are manufacturers who are seeing benefits for the first time. It’s taken a Governor who shares our vision for job growth in upstate communities, to revamp this. I commend new NYPA Board Chairman John Koelmel, the other Board members and their staff for working with the Regional Councils to see that the second round of funding awards went to the businesses in our region who employ a great deal of our labor force.”
Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) said, “When it comes to getting our economy back on track in New York State, job creation is key. By offering low cost power to businesses, operating costs will be reduced, and these organizations will be able to grow. I applaud Governor Cuomo’s ReCharge New York program and the New York Power Authority’s efforts to foster economic development across New York State.”
Assembly Member Addie Russell said, “By offering low-cost power to companies, this program is committed to creating and retaining in our local economy. North Country businesses will get the sustainable, long-term power solution that will help them thrive, ensuring there are jobs for our hardworking families.”
Tony Collins, Clarkson University President and Co-Chair of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, said, “Returning low-cost power to the North Country is critical to our region’s economic growth and retention of jobs. Through the ReCharge New York initiative, Governor Cuomo is taking active steps to make New York more competitive and to reduce the high cost of doing business here and across the state. With our many regional resources for sustainable energy production, his strategy is particularly aligned to the North Country Regional Council’s vision to create the greenest energy economy in state.”
122nd District Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River) said it will offer low-cost energy to five North Country companies, three of which are in his district, for the promise of future job creation and retention.
Blankenbush said he is proud of his vote to establish the program. “If you haven’t heard me say it before, it’s about ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ and I’m happy that my vote in 2011 helped create and retain over 350 jobs right here in the North Country.”
To qualify for ReCharge NY, companies had to commit to job creation or retention and also invest capital into their own companies.