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  • Irene Weiser

Lifton Eyes Funding to Replace Cayuga Power Plant

New York state has moved to aid a Long Island community through a coal power plant closure, and Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, announced Tuesday that she will seek similar aid for her district if Cayuga power plant is closed.

The $19 million state funding plan aids municipalities and schools that lose 20 percent or more of their payment-in-lieu-of-taxes revenue from a power plant closure, Lifton said.

The funding plan language will be in place until 2025, Lifton added.

"I will be fighting in every budget cycle to try and make sure that such funding will be available for municipalities and schools across the state that are affected by coal plant retirements as they go forward in the years ahead," Lifton said in a news release.

Last week, Lifton sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo that called for the state to allow Lansing's coal-fired power plant to close. The letter was signed by 70 elected state officials who are opposed to a state-mandated, utility-ratepayer-funded bailout for the power plant.

The Cayuga plant is Tompkins County's most valuable taxable property. For the 2014 tax roll, Cayuga paid $1.3 million to Lansing schools and $552,273 to local governments and the Lansing Fire Department.

In a press conference when the letter was released, Lifton called for a "robust, real-world transition plan to assist communities that may be disproportionately impacted by the loss of a coal-fired power plant."

She acknowledged that money to assist communities impacted by a Cayuga closure hasn't been secured.

"The state always has the discretion to look at the state budget and look at what's needed in the state," Lifton said last week.

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