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Village, SRCT approved for low-cost hydropower grant for YMCA

Benefits don’t kick in, however, until Y released from National Grid contract

— “We’re still really in the preliminary stages [of the expansion],” and there is no time frame yet as to when it will be started or finished, Wallace said. The news that the village was awarded the grant, however, “is fantastic,” he said. “This will retain low rates for everybody in the electric district.”

The NYPA grant of 100 kw is tied directly to the number of jobs the expansion project would create, which is estimated at five full-time positions, said Bob Lotkowictz, village director of municipal operations, who applied for the grant.

“This is pretty substantial. We’re really happy about it. But it is contingent on the switch from National Grid to village municipal power,” Lotkowictz said.

The YMCA is entitled to use village electric because it is within the village limits, but National Grid, which has been servicing the community center since its creation in 2001, refuses to let the non-profit opt out of its current contract, which expires at the end of 2013.

“We continue to work with the Community Center; we’ve been working on this for many years. We strive to protect the interests of our customers and hope to arrive at a positive resolution,” said National Grid spokesperson Virginia Limmiatis.

Wallace also said the SRCT has been “working with National Grid to try to resolve the issues,” but it also has been working with the village to prepare for the conversion to municipal electric. No definite date of conversion has been set, but the SRCT hopes to make the change by the end of next year, he said.

This disagreement over the SRCT’s electric contract led the Skaneateles Village Board of Trustees on Jan. 12 to approve a contract with Albany-based law firm Read & Laniado to assist the SRCT in its efforts to switch to municipal power.

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