Memorandum of understanding sealed between local municipalities and Transmission Developers, Inc.
Last week, five Rockland localities signed off on a memorandum of understanding with Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI), developer of the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE), “a completely buried, high voltage direct current transmission line proposed to extend from the Canadian border to New York City.”
As previously reported, the agreement includes $22 million in funds for capital projects in the towns of Stony Point, Haverstraw and Clarkstown, and villages of West Haverstraw and Haverstraw and $9 million for road improvements along the 9W corridor. An alternate route has been proposed for the transmission line, traveling primarily under Route 9W, for approximately 7.1 miles, and 1.1 miles under Park Road in Stony Point.
TDI says when the transmission line becomes operational the company will pay an estimated $223 million to Rockland County in taxes over the first 40 years of the project.
On Wednesday officials who negotiated the deal and other community leaders released statements giving the agreement and TDI high praise.
“This is an incredible opportunity for us. This project will give us substantial much-needed long-term tax revenue,” said Stony Point Supervisor James Monaghan. “Not only have we worked hard to establish a new route, but we have negotiated a substantial benefit package to offset disruption for our residents and businesses.”
“Getting a tax ratable of this magnitude is a truly positive development. It just doesn’t get much better than this,” said West Haverstraw Mayor Robert D’Amelio. “This project will upgrade our streets, add no children to our school district and will not impact traffic once construction is complete. We are also thankful TDI acknowledges construction will temporarily impact our busy business corridor and is compensating us for that inconvenience. We will work hard to ensure construction goes smoothly.”
“I am proud we were able to negotiate important revenue for our residents and businesses to offset any construction inconveniences. I am also grateful TDI was willing to listen to our concerns,” said Haverstraw Supervisor Howard Phillips. “Our commitment, first and foremost, is to those we represent. The route change, coupled with these community benefits, transformed the CHPE into a project we fully support.”
“TDI has proven itself to be a true community partner with its plans to build a substantial new tax ratable here in North Rockland County,” remarked Village of Haverstraw Mayor Michael Kohut. “They listened to the community’s concerns, made adjustments and have treated North Rockland fairly with this project benefits package which will allow us to make improvements to our community that will benefit each and every resident.”
“Opportunities like this do not come along very often. This agreement will benefit our community for years to come,” said Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann. “We are grateful our five municipalities and TDI worked together for this mutually agreeable outcome.”
“I have worked closely with all parties involved including the towns of Haverstraw and Stony Point to ensure that our local municipalities are compensated appropriately during this process. As this project progresses I will continue to fight for the people of North Rockland every step of the way,” said New York State Senator William Larkin.
“The Champlain Hudson Power Express is coming to Rockland County. And, this time it’s coming with community benefits to revitalize our business district. The benefits package announced today will help make the kinds of positive changes that we have wanted for years but have never really been able to afford,” remarked president of the North Rockland Chamber of Commerce Joseph Koval.
“As a result of candid discussions with the host communities’ elected leaders and stakeholders, TDI now proposes to adjust the route in North Rockland and install the cables mostly under Route 9W with a view towards decreasing environmental, historical and community impacts,” said TDI Chief Executive Officer Don Jessome. “The agreement incorporates constructive and thoughtful input we received concerning the project’s original route which was approved by state and federal agencies. It also compensates communities for temporary disruption along local roads and the state highway that serves as a primary transportation artery.”
When public discussions opened in 2012 the project was met with resistance in Rockland County, especially Stony Point where the proposed route traversed Stony Point Battlefield and other sensitive areas.
Critics also lamented the apparent pre-selection of the project, financed by the Blackstone investment firm, favoring hydroelectric energy from Canada over New York industry. Patches of dissent remained in the wake of last week’s announcement. Stony Point Councilman Tom Basile was outspoken in his belief that Rockland could have made a better deal with TDI.
Construction on CHPE is slated to begin in 2019 and the project will be operational in 2022, TDI said.
Edited from TDI press release