NORWICH – If approved to build its $2.2 billion power line, New York Regional Interconnect announced Tuesday it will set aside at least 10 construction-related contracts for businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.
NYRI struck the agreement with The National Disabled Veterans Business Council (NDVBC), a self-proclaimed advocacy group chartered 18-months ago in Washington, D.C.
“We at NYRI feel privileged to join with our country’s veterans through the National Disabled Veterans Business Council, so we can give something concrete back to our troops who have served all of us so selflessly,” said NYRI president Chris Thompson.
Some power line opponents, however, question NYRI’s motives for aligning with the disabled veterans group, calling it a public relations ploy aimed at deflecting attention away from the controversy surrounding its project.
“What an incredibly slimy move on NYRI’s part. They are exploiting disabled vets to help gain support of its unwanted project,” said Dave Hollis, who lives near the line’s route in Hubbardsville. “This is a totally Machiavellian move by NYRI and should be seen for what it is – a shameful attempt to portray opponents of their project as anti-disabled veterans.”
Thompson argues the power line developer only hopes to be an example of how the private sector can, and should, reach out to the nation’s veterans.