Tonawanda News

NT

April 18, 2012

Deal for NT dispatch move taking shape

(Continued)

LOCKPORT —

Niagara County has run NT fire dispatching for several years. It is the only dispatching work done at the sheriff's department for an outside municipality in the county.

That could also change, though.

The county is also planning talks with the City of Lockport about taking over its dispatching work as well, Glatz and Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker both said. Lockport police-fire dispatching is done by police officers, not civilians, so the thorny issue of job protection for dispatchers shouldn't be present in the talks.

"With economies of scale we may be able to take that over without (the City of Lockport) incurring any costs,"  Glatz said.

In other news, Niagara County lawmakers signaled unanimous support for a revised PILOT agreement with the new owners of the Somerset generating station Tuesday, despite the fact the revision will cost the county millions of dollars through 2015.

By a 15-0 vote, legislators approved a resolution signaling its support for proposed amendment of the Payment In Lieu of Taxes agreement that the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency has AES Eastern Energy LP.

AES went bankrupt last year and the plant may be taken over by a group of bondholders — so long as the bondholders can get additional tax-cost relief from NCIDA.

The development agency board of directors is meeting this morning to accept the new plant owners' application for a revised PILOT. Combined payments to Barker School District, Niagara County and the Town of Somerset, in lieu of property tax on the plant's assessed value, are $14.3 million currently.

According to the proposed amendment, the combined payments would fall to $10.8 million in 2012-13, $6.7 million in 2013-14, and $5.1 million in 2014-15. While the percentages of the total going to each taxing jurisdiction would not change — the school district still gets 59.25 percent of the total, the county 31.5 percent and the town 9.25 percent — all are taking a 40 to 60 percent cut in what AES was paying them per its amended PILOT agreement of February 2011.

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