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Mayor’s Message Village of Floral Park: August 17, 2012

The following letter was sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo in support of his recent statements relating to L.I.P.A., which clearly enunciate the reasoning for, and therefore solicit his support of, our proposed Four Village Clean Energy Facility & Microgrid. I offer this to keep you continually informed of this exciting idea within a very fluid and changing environment. My fellow mayors and I appreciate Governor Cuomo’s assertive leadership and attention in this matter upon which all commerce and vitality on Long Island depends.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Floral Park applauds your administration’s recent public statements that the Long Island Power Authority is “bloated” and needs reform. As you are aware, Floral Park, in conjunction with our neighboring Incorporated Villages of Bellerose, Stewart Manor and South Floral Park, are seeking support and funding from the State of New York for a Clean Energy Facility located at our neighboring Belmont Park.  Given that the State of New York owns and controls the 435-acre Belmont Park property, the inclusion of a 30-megawatt co-generation Clean Energy Facility providing electricity, the ability to winterize the track surface and capacity to provide heating and cooling for buildings at Belmont Park, must ecome a top priority for the State of New York in order to preserve and improve Belmont Park.

As Newsday noted, LIPA’s grid will be managed by the New Jersey-based P.S.E.G. beginning in 2014.  The State of New York, therefore, has a rare opportunity to move quickly to establish a microgrid municipal electrical utility, owned and controlled by New Yorkers in Western Nassau County, prior to LIPA turning its keys over to New Jersey’s PSEG in 2014. We understand that your administration may be announcing significant changes relating to LIPA by the end of the summer. As such, publicly announcing your support for the Four Village Clean Energy Facility at Belmont Park should be part of your administration’s plans for improving the fragile energy grid on Long Island.

We recognize that there may be some resistance within the existing bureaucracy to changing the status quo. The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency, for example, recently advised us that since Floral Park is within the L.I.P.A. service area, which does not participate in the “Systems Benefit Charge contribution” that partially funds its program, this state agency cannot provide funding to be exempted from the L.I.P.A. service area. We find ourselves trapped in a Hobson’s choice, to wit: requesting L.I.P.A. to exempt us from L.I.P.A.’s grid.

Floral Park and its three sister villages request serious consideration be given to this proposal for clean energy independence. Please help us make this innovative proposal for the Four Village Microgrid at Belmont Park succeed. Floral Park, Bellerose, Stewart Manor and South Floral Park anxiously await our governor to embrace this proposal for not only a tangible improvement at Belmont Park, but a clear “win-win” for everyone involved. One concrete way to make Long Island’s electrical grid less vulnerable is to support this local innovative proposal for the Four Village Microgrid Clean Energy Co-Generational Facility at Belmont Park.  

We look forward to your leadership at Belmont Park and hope that the residents of western Nassau County will, once again, hear good news emanating from Belmont Park under the new stewardship of the State of New York.

Sincerely,
Thomas J. Tweedy, Mayor

Cc:  Senator Jack Martins, 7th Senate District; Assemblyman Edward Ra, Assembly District 21; Mayor Henry J. Schreiber, Village of Bellerose; Mayor James J. Kelly, Village of Stewart Manor; Mayor Geoffrey N. Prime, Village of South Floral Park.