The village has asked an engineering firm to study the possible impact a power line stretching from Canada to New York City could have on its water system.
The Champlain Hudson Power Express, a proposed 333-mile power line stretching from Canada to New York City, would see two five-inch thick cables run south under the waters of Lake Champlain and along the east side of Route 22 before meeting the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks and continuing to a converter station in Astoria.
The proposed route runs along the same path where the village plans to install a new water main this fall.
“It’s potentially a problem,” said Mayor Peter Telisky.
He has asked Barton and Loguidice engineers to contact Transmission Developers Inc., the company behind the project, to discuss it. Contrary to published reports, Barton and Loguidice have not been hired explicitly to study the project.
“They were hired to do the water line and my position is this (the study) is part of the job,” Telisky said. “There needs to be a dialogue.”
Transmission Developers, Inc., was required to provide $450,000 to the state to fund expenses incurred by municipalities related to the project and Telisky is hopeful some of that money may be available to pay for any study.
The village plans to install the water main north of the village and south of South Bay near the county highway garage.
The work is a continuation of the same project that saw several thousand feet of water main replaced on Broadway last year.
Telisky said the stretch of water line that’s to be replaced was chosen because of the number and severity of leaks that have occurred. “We felt it should take precedence,” he said.
Most of the pre-engineering work on the water line has already been done and officials expect the project to begin in October and wrap up next spring.
According to Donnie Williams, director of public works, the power line would follow the water main from Blue Goose Road all the way to Clinton Avenue.
Officials fear the power line could become problematic if the village needs to access and repair its water main in the future. They have questioned whether the power line could run through South Bay along the railway instead.
Developers hope to begin construction of the electric project in 2014, but there is still engineering work to be done and construction plans along parts of the route still need to be completed and submitted to the state.
The project isn’t expected to be complete until 2016.
When it’s finished, the project is expected to bring up to 1,000 megawatts of wind and hydro power to the New York metropolitan area. Developers have said it will create hundreds of jobs, meet growing energy demands, reduce emissions and lower energy costs for consumers.
The town and village could potentially receive additional tax revenue because the power line would represent an improvement, thus increasing the taxable value of the land. Approximately six miles would pass through Whitehall; two through the village and four through the town.
The project’s cost equates to more than $6 million per mile and developers estimate it will generate more than $20 million in taxable revenue where the line is buried.
In addition, a one-time payment will be made to the state for easements once the project is complete.
Developers still need approval from the Public Service Commission, the U.S. Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers before construction can begin.