Niagara Gazette


August 14, 2013

EDITORIAL: Getting priorities straight at NYPA


Niagara Gazette — The answer, quite obviously, is not enough.

This is troubling considering the whole purpose of having a power authority in the state of New York is to make sure the tremendous asset we have in low-cost electricity generated at plants like the one in Lewiston is distributed in such a way as to spur economic development, grow businesses and create high-paying jobs for residents.

It’s clear Western New York is not there yet, not by a longshot, even though it is home to the largest producer of low-cost hydropower in the entire state system. 

In fact, most businesses in our area, and governmental entities as well for that matter, have been forced to do less amid trying economic times in recent years. 

Is it too much to ask the individuals in charge of the power authority to do the same?

Indeed, didn’t we ask for much the same thing back in 2006 and again in 2011?

Do we really need to ask, once again, for authority executives to be more fiscally conservative moving forward? 

Sadly, the answer appears to be yes. 

For years, local officials and, more recently, federal lawmakers representing Western New York, have petitioned the authority in an effort to secure funds for economic development projects based largely on the argument that the entity, which rakes in billions in profits each year, has the resources and can afford it.

DiNapoli’s latest audit only serves to reinforce an already valid point.

It also reminds Western New York ratepayers of what they already know: When it comes to authority operations, it’s not so much a matter of resources as it is a matter of priorities.

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