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Change in Niagara Power Coalition welcomed

The Niagara Power Coalition is changing, and it's for the better, according to some Town Board members.

Board members on Monday said the planned departure of Mark Zito in the next two months as executive director of the coalition was good news. And Supervisor Fred Newlin said he would like to see Samuel Ferraro, head of the Niagara County Center for Economic Development, take over for Zito.

Councilman Daniel Kilmer said the town has been asking for some kind of accountability from the coalition and hopes a new leader will make that happen.

Town Attorney David G. Boniello said the town has been asking to see the accounting records of the coalition for more than a year and also put a request in writing but said the requests have been ignored.

Newlin said the coalition also discussed municipal development associations, which are used to distribute the power allocated from the Power Authority settlement. He said the town plans to form its own municipal development association, since Lewiston is the only town that plans to pass its kilowatt allocation on to the community.

"Electricity is a complex subject. The price changes minute to minute, and you need good consultants," said Newlin.

In another matter, the board agreed to contribute $500 to the Lower River Region Chamber of Commerce for an event Saturday to kick off ferry service between Youngstown and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

"It's clearly a project that can benefit the town. We are all coming to the realization that the success of our neighbor is something that is good for us." said Newlin.


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