Economic Development Committee Update

September 11, 2009
Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

ESDC Call for Input

The Business Council is developing recommendations in response to ESDC’s call for input on alternatives to the Empire Zones program, set to sunset June 30, 2010. The Council and other business interests were contacted by ESDC acting Chairman Dennis Mullen asking for recommendations on general economic development strategies, and on specific economic development incentive programs. Mullen asked that interested parties provide input by September 21, 2009. In response, we are asking Economic Development Committee members for their input. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience with any questions or recommendations. Ken.pokalsky@bcnys.org.

Economic Development Power Hearings

Joint Senate/Assembly hearings and roundtables on the future of economic development power programs are being scheduled for later this month and October. The tentative agenda is September 23 in Niagara Falls, October 14 in the lower Hudson Valley, and October 15 in Syracuse. The Business Council will likely be participating in the September 23 hearing. While these sessions will focus on the future of Power for Jobs and the Energy Cost Savings Benefit programs, which are due to expire next May, the legislature will also be looking for input on all NYPA economic development programs.

The Business Council supports a long term replacement for PfJ, ECSB and economic development power, using current “rural and domestic” hydropower for an allocation based benefit. An outline of our proposal is included in testimony we recently gave at the NYPA hearing on “rural and domestic” contract extensions. This September 2nd hearing was on a one year extension – to December 31, 2010 – of contracts for the sale of 450 MW of power to the three upstate utilities for residential & farm customers.

As always, we look for input from member companies on the future of NYPA programs.