‘Recharge New York’ Can Help Revitalize Economy

By State Sen. Patty Ritchie

With record numbers of New Yorkers out of work, my top priority in Albany has been helping businesses to create new jobs.

That’s why I used my position as a member of the Senate Energy Committee and as chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee to support the Recharge New York Jobs Bill.

Unlike the Power for Jobs  program this measure replaces,  Recharge New York provides important reforms that upstate’s businesses and our agriculture community consider vital to revitalizing our region’s economy.

Our state has one of the worst business climates in the country, not just because of our high tax rate, but also because we have some of the highest energy costs in the nation.  If we want to convince businesses to come to our state and help existing businesses to expand, we need to reduce energy costs to our employers.

Recharge New York helps begin that process. The reforms include:

– Providing long term stability so companies know what their energy costs will be for the next seven years.  The old Power for Jobs program ran from year to year with no guarantee to companies that they would be able to recoup their investment if they hired more people or modernized their plants.

– Makes more farmers eligible to lower their energy costs.

– Insures that existing businesses benefitting from Power for Jobs will have an opportunity to compete under Recharge New York.

– Requires that the state consider the importance of the employer to the community where it’s located.

For many of our small communities in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence County, they only have one major employer.  Our businesses will have a better chance to qualify if the state has to consider what would happen to the community if it went out of business or laid off employees.

I am very pleased to see these vital reforms moving forward through the state legislature.    It’s long past time that New York State recognizes that our farms and our agriculture industry is vital to revitalizing the upstate economy.   As the Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helping the Legislature to recognize the importance of incorporating agriculture into this business program was critically important to me and to family farms across the state.   To illustrate why this bill is so important to the 48th Senate District, here’s a list of the businesses and employers that were assisted by Power for Jobs, based on a recent report from the New York Power Authority.

Line Account City County Allocation (kW)
1 Birds Eye Foods LLC Fulton Oswego 1,500
2 Canton Potsdam Hospital Potsdam St. Lawrence 150
3 Chapin Watermatics Inc. Watertown Jefferson 325
4 Clarkson University Potsdam St. Lawrence 1,500
5 Climax Manufacturing Co. Carthage Jefferson 1,500
6 Corning, Inc. – (Canton) Canton St. Lawrence 1,500
7 D.E.C. Properties, Inc. Alexandria Bay Jefferson 110
8 Edward John Noble Hospital Gouverneur St. Lawrence 100
9 Great Lakes Cheese of New York Inc. Adams Jefferson 600
10 Interface Solutions, Inc. Fulton Oswego 940
11 North Lawrence Dairy North Lawrence St. Lawrence 1,000
12 Samaritan Medical Center Watertown Jefferson 600
13 St. Lawrence University Canton St. Lawrence 800
14 Stature Electric Watertown Jefferson 150
Total kW 10,775