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Citizens take power line issues to Village Board

Nov 26, 2013 6:50 am
One week after its presentation to the Athens Town Board, the newly established Athens Citizens Development Committee was present for a meeting of the Athens Village Board, Mon., Nov. 25. Committee spokesman Ralph Favicchio ((fah-VEE-chee-oh) offered a statement laying out the group's position on several power line projects currently under consideration for Athens. Favicchio specifically called for the Village Board to oppose the West Point Partners buried DC power lines project. Board member Bob June asked what aspects of the West Point project were of the greatest concern to the group and Favicchio responded PLAY (5:10). Athens Mayor Chris Pfister stated it is so far unclear what the benefits of the West Point project would be for the village PLAY (1:30). Former village mayor and Athens Citizens Development Committee member Andrea Smallwood spoke about the decision to locate the WPP converter station on land zoned Rural Residential and Open Space Conservation. PLAY (2:02) Those zoning designations were created as part of the Athens 2007 Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan was partially state funded and created to support and preserve the quality of life in Athens, Smallwood said. The power line projects currently under consideration are all part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Energy Highway initiative to bring additional power downstate. None of the projects provide power to Athens or other communities in the region. PLAY (36:24) the full Athens Citizens Development Committee presentation and discussion with the Village Board. (ED Note: Sebren is a member of the Athens Citizens Development Committee.)

-- Sam Sebren