Does NYRI have access to railroad rights-of-way or not

NORWICH – A power line waiting to slide down 200 miles of Upstate New York has not yet legally secured the first leg of its trail, officials said.

From Utica to Woods Corners, New York Regional Interconnect Inc.’s high voltage line would follow land easements the company claims have been acquired from the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad. However, that land has been owned by local county Industrial Development Agencies since 1982, as part of a deal to keep the railroad operating in exchange for no taxes being levied upon the Susquehanna & Western.

When asked if the Susquehanna & Western would have to first ask the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency if it could sell NYRI the rights of way in this area, IDA attorney James Downey replied, “Yes.”

“The railroad hasn’t asked the IDA to do anything,” Downey said.">NYRI spokesperson Jonathan Pierce said he believes the agreement with the rail company is good and that it secures his company’s interests. “I really don’t know what the situation may be between the railroad and other entities – it covers what we need,” Pierce said. “We may have an issue we’re not aware of, but I don’t think so.”

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