Budget cuts may limit public statement hearings for NYRI

UTICA – One of the administrative law judges assigned to review the proposed 190-mile electric transmission line project suggested Monday that the number of public statement hearings held during the process could be limited by state budget cuts.

The Hon. Jeffrey E. Stockholm, who has been tasked with reviewing the New York Regional Interconnect application with fellow Administrative Law Judge Michelle L. Phillips, made the statement at the conclusion of a prehearing conference held Monday in Utica.

Two information forums/public statement hearings are already planned in October: One at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica and the other at the State University of New York campus in Oneonta. The Public Service Commission is currently looking for a possible third location near the southern end of the proposed power line.

When Phillips asked for suggestions for this third location, John Kluscik, representing Communities Against Regional Interconnect (CARI), called for additional public hearings to be scheduled in each of the counties along the proposed route. CARI represents seven counties and five public interest groups along the corridor, including Chenango County and Stop NYRI.

Kluscik said it was “extremely important” to provide the public with easily accessible information and an adequate opportunity to participate in the hearing process.

Sherburne resident Cindy Carter spoke up in support of Kluscik’s proposal. “It’s important for community members to have access,” said Carter, who is on the active party list as an individual as well as a member of Stop NYRI.

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