March 28, 2017 (Oneonta, NY) – In response to repeated communication and economic development frustrations, lack of investment in aging energy infrastructure, energy shortages and an overall weakness in quality power delivery to franchise protected areas, a nine county coalition has been formed to fight back. With a historic coalition partnership including Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan and Tioga Counties, respective economic development professionals and elected officials have joined together with their respective State Senators to challenge overall New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) business practices.
Senator James L. Seward said, “When employers assemble a checklist of needs, reliable, affordable, and modern energy infrastructure is at the top of the list. Companies will not grow or locate here in our part of the state if there is no guarantee that their power needs will be met. Unfortunately, confidence in NYSEG is eroding every day and after discussing this situation with my senate colleagues, local government officials, and economic development leaders it is clear that PSC intervention is needed. New York State is losing population and it is time NYSEG step up and help improve our economic development outlook before the lights go out for good.”
The group has jointly developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which outlines six defined objectives to shift previous harmful and deficient business practices in the areas of quality delivery of reliable power, accurate information sharing, investment into aging infrastructure, support of economic development, and overall consumer support. Without defined improvements committed to an aggressive timeframe, the group calls for the termination of franchise protected rights.
“My colleagues and I continue to be frustrated by the lack of any commitment or partnership by our public utility to economic development and the delivery of consistent and quality power. This not only harms the existing business community from growing, but forces our communities to the sidelines with any opportunity for new business and job growth,” emphasized Alexander “Sandy” Mathes, Jr, Otsego Now CEO. “I congratulate my eight other county partners for their courage to step-up to join this powerful challenge of status quo. Some others wanted to join, but they fear retribution and harmful retaliation by NYSEG,”
The five-page detailed MOU was delivered to the Public Service Commission today with the ultimate goal of drawing attention to the neglect and lack of commitment NYSEG has historically shown these geographic locations in their protected franchise area. It is anticipated that the PSC, who has previously been extremely helpful to force NYSEG to the table during recent rate increase proceedings, will respond quickly and meet with the full coalition to hear first hand negative experiences and map out next steps to address the dysfunctional situation.