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Huntley eminent domain effort ends with $24,000 legal bill

The Town of Tonawanda spent $24,223 in legal fees in its effort to take over the former Huntley Generating Station through eminent domain.

Attorney Marc Romanowski – then with the firm Hopkins, Sorgi and Romanowski – represented the town against Huntley owner NRG Energy.

The town detailed the payments between December 2018 and July 2019 in response to a public records request. The invoices do not indicate how much the firm charged per hour.

The Town Board voted in June to begin eminent domain proceedings. Huntley closed in 2016 but NRG still provides untreated water to local industrial customers and Tonawanda officials sought continued access to this water.

Tonawanda and NRG in September put the legal fight on hold to avoid derailing the attempt to sell the River Road property.

NRG in January said it is poised to sell the site to a limited liability company tied to WarrenBrook Redevelopment. Finally, last month, the Town Board terminated the legal effort in a settlement with NRG.

Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger said the money the town spent on legal fees for the eminent domain proceeding was well worth it because the raw water continues to flow to the industrial customers and the prospective new owner has agreed to continue to do this.

"It accomplished its goal," Emminger said.

NRG Energy has deal to sell Huntley site in Tonawanda

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