Buffalo, NY—Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) released a list of all the support to date for his efforts to secure a more fair and equitable settlement for Buffalo and Erie County from the New York Power Authority (NYPA). This comes as the Southtowns Walleye Association of Western New York announced their support of Higgins’ proposal on Thursday night. The Officers and Board of Directors of the Southtowns Walleye Association, the largest Walleye Club in North America, unanimously backed the Congressman’s efforts on behalf of its more than 1,780 members at their general meeting held September 15, 2005.
Higgins said, “The strong showing of community support for my proposal sends a clear message to the Power Authority: Erie County and Buffalo will not stand to be forgotten. It is time for NYPA to pay attention to the people of Erie County, and offer a fair settlement that will help to revitalize and infuse this area with the construction and redevelopment which it desperately needs.”
The Higgins’ proposal calls for $10 million each year over the 50 year license period, with 3% compounded annually, to be directed to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation for brownfield remediation and waterfront redevelopment. NYPA’s “take it or leave it offer” of $2 million to Buffalo and Erie County has been rejected by the Erie County Legislature and the Buffalo Common Council.
“I am grateful to have the strong support of the Southtowns Walleyes, a group well-known and well-respected as active advocates for environmental quality, sportsmanship and access to Lake Erie,” continued Higgins. “Our efforts to direct money from NYPA to improving the recreational and water quality resources affected by the Niagara Power Plant are strengthened by the addition of this conservation club.”
David “Woody” Woodworth, President of the Southtowns Walleye Association said, “We are proud to stand with the Congressman and all those who believe that Western New York deserves a better return from NYPA. Our members fish Lake Erie and are dedicated to the wise use of our Great Lakes’ resources and if we are to continue, NYPA must address the environmental impact of the Power Plant on the Buffalo waterfront.”
The Southtowns Walleye Association is the latest group to join the growing list of citizens, business and elected officials who believe that the relicensing of the Niagara Power Plant is a once in a lifetime opportunity to seize real benefits from a resource whose benefits more readily flow downstate. Higgins noted that, “Along with the entire Buffalo Common Council and the Erie County Legislature, we have the support of more than 20 elected officials and labor leaders, Buffalo Place and individual business owners. The representation from the business community as well as the citizens and local governments in Western New York is impressive. I am thrilled by the outpouring of public support on this issue as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and my office have received over 700 letters saying that this community cannot afford another fifty years of NYPA’s disregard for Western New York.”
Resolutions supporting the Congressman’s proposal have also been passed by the City of Lackawanna, Town of Hamburg, Village of Angola, as well as the Towns’ of Evans, Eden and Marilla citing that Buffalo and Erie County is due funding for the direct local impact on the waterfront, part of the Niagara River basin. “We will continue to fight for Western New York to get its fair share until the federal agency known as FERC issues a new license in 2007. It is unfortunate that NYPA continues to deny Western New York the funding it is owed for comprehensive development of the Niagara River basin as required under federal law,” said Higgins.
The complete list in support of Higgins’ settlement proposal is below.
NYS Senator Byron Brown
NYS Assemblyman Mark Schroeder
NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples
NYS Assemblyman Sam Hoyt
Legislator Timothy M. Wroblewski- Erie County
Legislator Lynn Marinelli- Erie County
Legislator Timothy Kennedy- Erie County
David A. Swarts- Erie County Clerk
Councilman Dominic J. Bonifacio- Niagara District
Councilman Marc Coppola- Delaware District
Councilman Ricardo Estrada- 1st Ward
Councilman Charles Jaworski- 3rd Ward
Councilman Jeff Conrad- South District
Councilman Leonard Pero- Town of Brant
Councilman Joseph Schiavi- 4th Ward
Councilman Ronald R. Spadone- City of Lackawanna
Councilman Antoine M. Thompson- Masten District
Supervisor John R. Foss- Town of Marilla
Councilman George Getz- Town of Marilla
Mayor Howard M. Frawley- Village of Angola
Supervisor Paul Clark- West Seneca
Mayor Curt S. Herrmann- Village of Hamburg
Supervisor Gordon B. Hessel- Town of Holland
Supervisor Patrick Hoak- Town of Hamburg
Supervisor Glenn Nellis- Town of Eden
Supervisor Kenneth E. Martin- Town of Collins
Supervisor Michael P. Nolan- Town of Elma
Anthony Coppola- IBEW Local 41
George Harrigan – Teamsters Local Union 449
Ronald Lucas- Teamsters Local 264
William Kraus- Vice President, Advanced Thermal Systems
Rosa A. Gonzalez- Director of Business Development, C.J. Brown Energy, P.C.
Stephen P. Fitzmaurice- COO, Seneca One Realty
Louis E. Wagner- CEO, Earthwatch Waste System
Kristine L. Ramming- President, Electro Abrasives
Michael R. Smith- Bison City Rod and Gun Club
Chris Jacobs- Avalon Development
Buffalo Place, Inc.
Southtowns Walleye Association