(Background: Today, Tuesday, June 27, 2006, in a meeting of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), held in White Plains, NY, the NYPA Board formally approved the $279 Million Niagara Power Project Relicensing Agreement Settlement with Buffalo and Erie County proposed by Higgins last year. Higgins released the following statement:)
“Just one year ago this community stood up to power and demanded a fair and equitable settlement in the 50-year relicensing agreement with the New York Power Authority. Today the NYPA Board approved the settlement we fought for, representing nearly three times their original offer. Within the next two months the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, a board formed last year to oversee developments in and around Buffalo’s Inner and Outer Harbor, will receive the first $2 million installment to invest in Western New York’s future.
We structured this settlement so as to get the highest and best use of this new waterfront money, restricting its use to design and construction of physical improvements along the Buffalo waterfront. This will create real projects with real development and real jobs for real people.
I congratulate all of the partners, Erie County, the City of Buffalo, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, for their dedication and cooperation leading to this hard won settlement. I look forward to continued collaboration as we work to implement viable and exciting development along our water’s edge.”
Details of NYPA settlement:
• $3.5 million annually for 50 years for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to facilitate waterfront improvement.
• Approximately $65 million will be available over the next two years for construction and related costs because bonds will be issued which are backed by the guaranteed annual settlement payment.
• $4 million in up-front funding to the Development Corporation will be paid in 2006 and 2007, with $2 million of that coming this summer.
• $2 million annually for 50 years will go to the Erie County Greenway Fund for waterfront parkland and environmental remediation.
• Also, local leaders will reclaim nearly 14 acres of waterfront property currently used by NYPA to store its ice boom.