This idiot was critical for the sale to Spain!! Now he’s upset?

The time to be upset was before Schmuckie pushed this through!

Schumer weighs in on RG&E dispute

The Krenzer family listens to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer during a visit to their Chili farm on Tuesday. CARLOS ORTIZ /STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Steve Orr

Staff writer

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer voiced his sup­port Tuesday morning for a Chili family that is re­sisting RG&E efforts to appropriate some of its farmland for a major pow­er transmission project.

Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. had won ap­proval from New York state regulators to use its power of eminent domain to acquire about 80 acres of the 670-acre Krenzer farm. The utility wants to locate a new substation, access road and transmis­sion line on the farm as part of a $254 million pro­ject to provide more elec­tricity to the Rochester area.

Members of the Kren­zer family say they don’t oppose the project but say loss of 80 acres and im­pact on about 200 acres more would disrupt oper­ations on their hundred­year- old farm. They said the utility didn’t fully ex­plore alternatives. The family would be paid fair value for the property that RG&E acquired.

The Krenzers have said RG&E’s original pro­posal was presented to the state Public Service Com­mission and approved by commissioners before the family knew about it.

After they learned of the proposal and under­stood its impact on their farm, the family went public with its complaints this spring, mounting a grass-roots campaign and then speaking to the Dem­ocrat and Chronicle’s Al­bany bureau for a story

that appeared in July. The PSC announced last month that it would reconsider the matter, and directed the parties to work with an administra­tive law judge, or ALJ, to find ways to minimize im­pact on the Krenzer farm. That effort is to be fin­ished by Sept. 15.

Marie Krenzer, who owns and operates the farm with her husband Dave, said the PSC has told the parties that dis­cussions are confidential, but said she’s sure a suit­able alternative will be laid on the table. The family hired an en­gineering firm earlier this year to study RG&E’s proposed route and ex­plore alternatives, and now is represented by a lawyer in the discussions in Albany. Krenzer said the cost to the family has reached six figures and said in response to a ques­tion that she didn’t know whether there was any chance of reimburse­ment.

Schumer, New York’s senior senator, said at a news conference at the Scottsville Road farm that RG&E should agree to re­locate the new substation and access road and re­route the powerline to minimize impact on the Krenzers’ land. Schumer said he ap­proves of the RG&E pro­ject, and believes it can move forward without causing what he called “ir­reparable harm” to the farm. “The Krenzers and the local community be­lieve you can have your cake and eat it too. There is another way,” he said.

The senator was criti­cal of the utility, which is owned by Spanish energy giant Iberdrola SA, for forcing the Krenzers to go to the mat for their prop­erty. “I don’t see why RG&E doesn’t just say they’ll do it. No one can understand their stub­bornness here,” Schumer said. “If they don’t go along, it won’t be forgot­ten.”

Utility spokesman Dan Hucko also noted that company officials are bound by the PSC’s confi­dentiality directive. But he said the company “is al­ready engaged in that me­diation process and met with all parties and the ALJ last week.

“RG&E is committed to work with all con­cerned parties to try to find an acceptable solu­tion and keep this impor­tant project on track,” he said.


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