By Matt Youngfrau
MONTICELLO Could Calpine return to Monticello?
Earlier this year, the Calpine Corporation proposed a power plant facility at property adjacent to the Sullivan County Landfill. The project could have run as high as $700 million and would likely have brought some tax relief to the area. However, those living around the landfill protested the project, airing concerns over pollution and traffic, and Calpine pulled out of the site.
While neither the Town of Thompson nor Sullivan County officially endorsed the project, they both wanted the Article X (a very long and thorough analysis) process to go forward. However, the Village of Monticello Board, listening to the wishes of residents, voted against even that happening.
One village board member, David Rosenberg, continues to campaign for Calpine, however. On Monday, November 19, at the villages board meeting, Rosenberg broached the subject once again. He requested that at the next board meeting Monday, December 2 the subject be put on the agenda for discussion.
The state approved the Wawayanda project [a Calpine facility in Orange County]. Orange Environmental, who are very tough on these projects, got behind it, Rosenberg stated. It would be foolish for us not to reopen it. The county is talking about raising taxes. We need money. It is something we have to look at.
While most figure Calpine will not want to come back to Thompson, several officials found Rosenbergs stance intriguing.
I applaud him for this effort, remarked Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development President Michael Sullivan, an outspoken proponent of Calpine. The board ran to judgment and did not look at the facts. We need something to offset the taxes.
Sullivan stated he would attend the next meeting.
As for Calpine?
They wont be there, but I will, Sullivan said. They were very appreciative of David. However, they said they will not be going where they are not wanted.
Other officials weighed in on the subject.
I am intrigued, commented County Manager Dan Briggs. We will see what happens.
All the indications that Calpine gave us was that the project will not be in Monticello, Sullivan County District 9 Legislator Jim Carnell Jr. [But] I believe they are still interested in Sullivan County.
I heard they were going to Liberty, stated Town of Thompson Supervisor Tony Cellini. It was loud and clear that the residents do not want it here. I was elected to represent the people, and if they dont want it here, I dont want it here.
David did not discuss it with me, so Im not sure what he wants to discuss, Monticello Mayor Gary Sommers said. If Calpine is interested, we will discuss it. However, I dont think they are interested. I would like to see them here and start the Article X process. However, I think the chances are slim to none.
After Rosenberg made the announcement, no board members publicly reacted. But if past meetings are any indication, there will be a large crowd at the December 2 board meeting to discuss the issue.