Power line concerns voiced in Columbus

COLUMBUS – A public hearing was held in the Town of Columbus Thursday in regards to a proposed electric transmission line in Sherburne and Columbus.

Members of the Chenango County Industrial Development Agency and NYSEG fielded questions about the new 10.7-mile line, which is needed, according to NYSEG, “to enhance regional reliability and meet the increasing demand for electricity in the Chenango County service area,” particularly by Chobani yogurt maker Agro Farma Inc. in connection with its expansion activities.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a one-time sales and use tax exemption which would amount to approximately $650,000.

Columbus residents voiced concern last night that the tax exemption would not benefit their town and insisted this was one in a long line of tax breaks for the international company which has been based in the community for four years.

“There will be virtually no benefit to Columbus from this agreement,” said Wells Horton, chairman for the town planning board. Horton added his appreciation to the IDA and NYSEG for speaking with the community and answering questions. “You have to take into account that this is benefiting Agro Farma ... the projects they do around the county only come close to the amount of the tax breaks.”

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