NORWICH – “Keep resisting it.” That’s the message Norwich-native and former New York State Assembly Minority Leader Clarence D. Rappleyea has for people opposing the 200-mile long, $1.6 billion high voltage electricity line that threatens to scar Chenango County’s beauty and drive up local energy costs.
Even though the opposition scored a victory recently when the state passed its eminent domain bill, the county’s favorite Republican known as “Rapp” urged people to follow the power line project closely. “You just can’t go to sleep on this project,” he said last week.
The bill states that the use of eminent domain would not be available for private transmission company executives to use to acquire property along a chosen route. New York Regional Interconnect’s proposed line hopes to bring power from upstate to the New York City metropolitan area, erecting 115 to 130 foot tall towers spaced every 800 feet through eight counties, including seven townships in Chenango.
Alteren developer Stephen E. Stark was unaware of the legislation passed when first contacted. He said www.evesun.com/topics/news/NYRI/">NYRI’s proposal had “devastated” his fundraising efforts for the $26 million recreational resort and hotel he announced back in 2003. Since learning that NYRI’s power line would run directly through his property on the eastern slope overlooking the county’s seat, Stark said he had been focusing five percent of his time on Alteren and 95 percent on other business ventures.