Danskammer to foot the bill for town consultants

By Lauren Berg
Posted 5/15/19

At the May 13 meeting the Newburgh town board voted on a funding agreement with New York State for the Danskammer power plant project’s Article 10 review process. The Danskammer power plant …

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Danskammer to foot the bill for town consultants

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At the May 13 meeting the Newburgh town board voted on a funding agreement with New York State for the Danskammer power plant project’s Article 10 review process.

The Danskammer power plant project is being reviewed by the state, which means the Public Service Commission supersedes the town’s typical land use approval procedures. However, the town wants to ensure that its residents will be adequately protected, so it has retained its own three consultants to review materials related to the project: McGoey Hauser and Edsall Consulting Engineers, EA Scientific to review air quality impacts, and Creighton Manning for traffic impacts.

These consultants would review everything Danskammer submits to the state, which at the moment includes the project’s preliminary scoping statement released February 8, 2019.

“There are provisions in the public service law for reimbursement of the costs incurred by intervening parties in the process. The town, as an intervening party, is entitled to a reimbursement, and those costs will be the costs of the consultants it retained to review the submissions,” explained attorney for the town Mark Taylor.

These reimbursements would cover up to $50,000 in costs accrued by the town in hiring these consultants for the Danskammer plant Article 10 process. As Danskammer energy explains on its website, “Article 10 applicants, such as the Danskammer Energy Center, are required to provide funds to be used to defray certain expenses incurred by municipal and local parties when intervening and participating at several stages in an Article 10 proceeding…Eligible ‘municipal parties’ include any county, city, town or village located in New York State that may be affected by the proposed major electric generating facility.”

As a municipality located within the affected area of Danskammer plant, the town of Newburgh is eligible for these funds to defray its consultant costs.

The May 13 town meeting also featured the appointment and swearing in of new town clerk Joseph Pedi, as well as the appointment of Lisa Ayers as the first deputy town clerk and Freedom of Information Officer.

The town board also recognized Peggy Bennett, former town of Newburgh employee, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday on May 2. The town presented Bennett with a bouquet of flowers, a birthday cake complete with candles, and a certificate of recognition honoring her as an outstanding town of Newburgh resident.

“We are here to honor an employee for many years,” said town supervisor Gil Piaquadio. “Peggy has always been willing to help anyone in her path in any way. You couldn’t find a better person any place on this earth. But we are here to celebrate her 100th birthday tonight.”

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