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NYPA Moves Forward in Returning Surplus St. Lawrence Land to Northern N.Y. Municipalities and Adjoining Landowners

Michael Saltzman

December 6, 2006

MASSENA—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is making steady progress toward conveying surplus parcels of land from its St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Project to area municipalities and adjoining landowners in connection with the 800-megawatt (mw) facility’s 50-year license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in October 2003. 

Some 540 parcels are being conveyed, as NYPA works closely with the Local Government Task Force comprised of the Northern New York communities that participated in the historic, 2001 agreement for the hydroelectric project’s relicensing.  

 “The land return is an important element of our commitments under the Comprehensive Relicensing Settlement Accord, which also includes some $231 million in funding for a full range of purposes benefiting the area communities,” said Frank S. McCullough Jr., NYPA chairman. “We’ve already expended more than one-quarter of this amount, with beneficial results for wildlife management, recreational facilities, shoreline stabilization, community enhancement funding, state parks, economic development and other improvements. All of this reflects our strong partnership with Northern New York.” 

NYPA has offered nearly 500 of the 600 acres of surplus land provided for under the new license to the towns of Massena, Louisville, Waddington and Lisbon; the village of Waddington; and adjoining landowners in those municipalities. The process for conveyance of the parcels includes completion of survey field work and parcel maps, review of adjoining owner deeds, appraisal of conveyance parcels, issuance of letters of intent and preparation of contracts and deeds. The landowners have two years to indicate whether they’re interested in purchasing the parcels, after receiving the letters. 

 By next year, the Power Authority expects the full 600 acres committed to under the relicensing agreement will have been offered to the designated parties. To date, some 146 acres have been conveyed, including nearly 130 acres to Massena and Lisbon. The 130 acres reflect nearly the total acreage of the surplus project land within those two towns, with one parcel remaining to be conveyed in Lisbon. 

The parcels slated for the Northern New York municipalities and other public entities are being removed from the St. Lawrence-FDR project’s boundaries without any financial exchange. However, the properties available to the adjoining landowners must be conveyed for fair market value in accordance with the requirement last year of the New York State Attorney General’s Office.  

Since the revenue obtained from the sale of the parcels to the adjoining landowners was not anticipated, the Power Authority has made known its intention to re-invest the proceeds for specific public works or economic support measures requested by the municipalities. The amounts in each community would approximate the sum collected for land sold in the respective municipalities.  

The St. Lawrence-FDR project is a bulwark for the aluminum and automotive manufacturing industries here. The project first went into commercial service in 1958 and provides some of the lowest cost electricity in New York State, along with the Niagara Power Project, another large hydroelectric project operated by NYPA.

About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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