State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-I-Newfane, has announced that, as part of this year's budget negotiation process, there will be the formation of the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board. The board is being formed as a result of the 2012 New York state budget.
The Niagara Power Project allocates a certain amount of power each year for use by citizens of this state. Upon the circumstance that there is allocated-but-unused power, the proceeds from that unused power are collected into a single account to be distributed for local economic development, as opposed to being placed into the general state fund.
This five-member panel, whose members will serve a five-year term, will designate where this money will go. Three of the board members must live within a 30-mile radius of the plant, two of which will be chosen by the heads of the State Senate and Assembly. All eligible companies for receipt of this money, being either private or not-for-profit, must also be located within 30 miles of the Lewiston plant and must show that funding "will support the growth of business in the state." Funding can be used for capital investments in buildings, research and development, tourism, transportation projects, or for land acquisition.
"This is a huge victory for our district and the people of Western New York," Maziarz said. "Having this money stay in the area for economic development will not only help the growth of the business of the state, but more importantly the businesses in Niagara County. I applaud the State Legislature and Governor Cuomo for making sure this important piece of the budget stays intact."