Assemblyman John Ceretto, R-I-Lewiston, and State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, met Monday with the governor's appointment secretary, Judge Leslie Leach, to discuss filling a current vacancy on the New York Power Authority's board of trustees with a Niagara County resident. The meeting was held in the governor's capitol office.
"During our meeting, the senator and I articulated why a Niagara County representative should be appointed to the Power Authority's board. After hearing our arguments, I am hopeful that the governor will place a local resident on the board," Ceretto said. "Local representation on NYPA would be a first step at giving Western New Yorkers more control over the creation and utilization of their hydroelectric power - leading to job growth and lower cost power for the area."
Maziarz said, "The Niagara Power Project, which generates most of the Power Authority's revenue and a large portion of its hydropower, is located in our backyard. As our region faces both specific challenges and opportunities for hosting this facility, it only makes sense that someone from Niagara County can make a great contribution to the NYPA board of trustees. Many of NYPA's decisions, in one way or another, have a significant bearing on the future of the Niagara Power Project and our community. We should have a voice in the decision-making process."
At the meeting, Ceretto and Maziarz argued that a local board member would be an asset to the region, and would help to ensure that the power produced at the largest electricity-producing plant in the state is used to lower local power costs, create jobs and provide relief to families now paying some of the highest energy rates in the nation. The governor's office is planning to make a final decision over their nominee to NYPA's board in the coming weeks.
The New York Power Authority is the largest state-owned energy agency in the country. Located in White Plains, Westchester County, it consists of energy brokers selling power to government agencies, community-owned electricity systems, rural electricity cooperatives, companies and neighboring states. The Niagara Power Project hydroelectric plants have a larger combined power-producing capacity than the next four largest utilities in the state.