Aubertine, Russell laud 'great step foward' in creation of municipal electric system for St. Lawrence County
Friday, October 1, 2010 - 5:01 pm

With Gov. David Paterson’s signature on the bill establishing the North Country Power Authority, Sen. Darrel Aubertine and Assemblywoman Addie Russell say this is a great step forward for the Alliance for Municipal Power in its plan to create a municipal electric system in St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties.

The North Country Power Authority will enable 24 towns to cut electricity rates for residents and businesses, with the aim of spurring development and job creation in the two counties.

AMP Chairman Robert Best said, “The 24 towns and villages of St. Lawrence and Franklin Counties in the service area of the North Country Power Authority are now on the road to improved service, reliability and rates for citizens and businesses.”

“This is a tremendous victory for the North Country,” said Russell.

“Working with the Alliance for Municipal Power and with the entire community on this project has been a tremendous honor and has been one of the most rewarding relationships in my short term in office. Collectively we kept our eyes on the goal of taking local control of the electric distribution system so that we can improve service and reduce rates.”

The legislation was introduced in the Senate by Aubertine.

“These towns and villages have spent more than a decade working to establish municipal power and I have been working with them to see that this bill passed and was signed by the governor,” said Aubertine, vice chair and ranking majority member of the Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee.

“I am thrilled that these municipalities will now have the opportunity to cut power costs and spur economic development in St. Lawrence County. Chairman Best and all those who have aligned in support across party lines to put our communities first have done tremendous work. This is a huge victory for our communities. The formation of a municipal power system will cut rates and spur the economic growth that will create new jobs and new development.”

AMP covers the towns of Bombay, Fort Covington, Moira and Westville in Franklin County, and towns of Brasher, Canton, Colton, DeKalb, Edwards, Fowler, Gouverneur, Hermon, Lisbon, Louisville, Madrid, Norfolk, Pierrepont, Potsdam, Russell, Stockholm, and Waddington and the Villages of Canton, Norwood, and Potsdam in St. Lawrence County.

Since the late 1990s, the Alliance for Municipal Power, based in Canton, has united the interests of 24 towns and villages, and more than 90 supporting organizations to work toward a goal of providing low-cost municipal power for economic development and a reduced cost of living for residents.

This legislation to create the North Country Power Authority would provide AMP towns and villages the ability to explore implementing owning and operating the transmission and distribution of electric power over the next 10 years. This initiative could provide thousands of New Yorkers in these municipalities with significantly reduced rates, more reliable service, and local control. Preliminary studies indicate the annual savings for rate-payers in the millions of dollars, as well as an average system-wide rate reduction of 4 percent.