Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — New England Seafood, a Hartland-based grocery store, may receive low cost power assistance, if the Niagara County Legislature approves the allocation next week.
The Legislature's Administration committee voted Tuesday to put the matter on next week's agenda. Assistant County Attorney R. Thomas Burgasser told the committee New England Seafood had a deal for low cost power, but when it was sold the new owners were unaware of the program.
The original low cost power agreement was made in 2009 when New England Seafood was owned by Louis and Lori Mead. They sold the business to Ronald and Jean Perry of Newfane in October 2011.
New England would receive 75 kilowatts for the next two years and 37.5 kilowatts for a third year. The business would receive electricity from Niagara County’s allocation from the Niagara Power Project, after New England Seafood's application was approved by the board of Empower Niagara, the county agency set up to consider private-sector requests.
Burgasser said New England Seafood is planning on a series of upgrades, particularly with its freezers and coolers, totaling around $400,000. The business probably wouldn't have qualified for other assistance programs, Burgasser said.
Legislator Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, said without the low cost power, New England Seafood would have had a hard time staying in business.
"Without it, it probably hurts his business, because he needs this to survive," Virtuoso said.
In other business Tuesday, the Administration committee approved and sent the following to the full Legislature:
• Acceptance of a $30,000 grant from the New York State Canal Corp. on behalf of the Niagara County Sheriff's Office. The money will be used to cover costs associated with patrolling the Erie Canal, said Chief Deputy Thomas Beatty.
• Lawmakers also sent a resolution to the Legislature that would allow the Sheriff's Office to enter into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration for 2014.