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Power for Jobs a clear success

Dear Editor:
Your March 27 article (“Energy program draws questions”) on Gov. George Pataki’s Power for Jobs program contained a number of inaccuracies about an extremely successful economic development initiative.
Contrary to your report, no applications for Rochester-area businesses–or any others–have been rejected. Any applications that have not been approved to date remain under active review.
In addition, since applications are accepted continuously, there has been no “deadline” extension for downstate applications, as you reported. In fact, no deadline has ever existed.
Flower City Printing Inc., cited in your article, is an excellent example of the success of the Power for Jobs program. As Gov. Pataki said in announcing the approval of that application, “Flower City Printing was looking at a possible move out of state, mainly because of high electricity costs. But because we can lower its costs with an allocation under the Power for Jobs program and provide economic development assistance, Flower City Printing is staying in New York.”
With this low-cost power and other assistance from New York State, Flower City Printing has committed to a major expansion in Monroe County, adding 130 jobs to its existing 170.
The state Economic Development Power Allocation Board, which recommends Power for Jobs allocations to the New York Power Authority, received a revised application from Flower City on March 10 after additional information was requested from the company. EDPAB recommended the allocation at its next meeting, on March 30, and the NYPA trustees approved it the following day.
This is hardly a case of an application being delayed, let alone denied. Allocations under the Power for Jobs program also have been approved for six other Rochester-area enterprises, helping to protect or create more than 1,000 jobs. Those companies are: Hammer Lithograph, Heany Industries, Mobil Chemical, Optical Gaging Products, Precision Packaging Products and Spectronic Instruments.
Since the Power for Jobs program began in December 1997, we have approved 78 allocations providing nearly 77 megawatts of power to businesses that have committed to save 33,300 jobs and create more than 1,300 jobs in New York. It originally was estimated that the program would impact 40,000 jobs over its full three years. Yet, only one quarter into the first program year, the jobs total already has exceeded 34,000.
The program’s success has been very encouraging and the interest has been overwhelming. Demand for Power for Jobs electricity already is exceeding available capacity. The 250-plus applications received to date request nearly 535 megawatts–400 megawatts more than the 133 megawatts available this year.
Efforts by lawmakers, such as Rochester-area Sen. James Alesi, to increase the amount of electricity available under Power for Jobs deserve serious attention in the face of such demand.
I am pleased to report that Power for Jobs has assisted the Rochester-area economy. We look forward to continuing to work to help jobs stay and grow in your community.
–C.D. “Rapp” Rappleyea, chairman and CEO, New York Power Authority; chairman, Economic Development Power Allocation Board.

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