New Baltimore grants municipal consent for $3B power line despite resident opposition
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the New Baltimore Town Board April 26, unanimously approved a resolution granting municipal consent for the $3 billion Champlain Hudson Power Express proposal, despite the presence of a small, but vocal group of opponents. “Sometimes David has to challenge Goliath,” resident James Eckl said as he left the town board meeting. The project would run 338 miles of power line from the U.S.-Canada border to New York City, with 60 percent of the line buried underwater and 40 percent underground and would supply enough power for 1 million homes in New York City. Municipalities along the transmission line were asked to adopt resolutions granting consent for the line to be installed on an existing right of way. Town Supervisor Jeff Ruso said the line would run parallel along the CSX railroad track. He has met with the developers, he added. The only town-owned road the project is expected to cross is New Baltimore Road. It would also cross Route 144, but that is a state road, Ruso said. New Baltimore would receive $120,000 a year through a Payment in Lieu of Taxes agreement, he said. Town board member Shelly Van Etten said there was nothing the town could do about the project, one way or another and the supervisor agreed. “It comes down to this,” he said. “There are a lot of bigger players than the town of New Baltimore or [residents] Ellie [Alfeld] or Jeff [Ruso], who are worried about their stretch of property. There are a lot of big bucks in this.” Alfeld scoffed. Eckl expressed skepticism and wanted to see the town gain more from the project. New Baltimore was the last town in Greene and Albany counties to vote on the municipal consent resolution, Ruso said. “We did struggle like a fish on a line, but that’s all we were — a fish on a line,” he said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.