Serino: State should take power line project back to drawing boards

Dutchess County Legislator Sue Serino, R-4, said New York state and the state Public Service Commisson should reconsider a controversial plan to expand power transmission lines from Utica to New York City through Dutchess County.

The proposed project has drawn concern because the expansion could result in already sizable rights of way being widened, taking more property from local property owners. Serino notes that many of the properties involved are historically and agriculturally significant.

There is also no stated positive impact for the counties involved in the project, including Dutchess County.

"This project would damage historically important properties and beautiful farmland, including many properties right here in Dutchess County," Serino said in a release. "The project needs to be reconsidered, and potentially negative impacts to the area and our county reduced before the project moves forward."

Along with reconsidering the project, the state should also determine the feasibility of proposals to bury the expanded power transmission lines, she added.

"There are options, including the burying of lines, that should be considered that would reduce the impact of this project and protect health, safety and quality of life in the area," Serino said.

Municipalities in Dutchess and Columbia counties have expressed opposition to the expansion project. This week, the Rensselaer County Legislature adopted a resolution asking the state to reconsider the expansion project. Serino sponsored such legislation which passed in Dutchess County in December.

"Opposition to this project is growing, and so is concern," she said. "The state needs to go back to the drawing board and rework this project so it causes less disruption and damage."

Hudson Register-StarĀ