Greenport OK’s electrical plant study; ‘thorough review warranted’

The Greenport Village Board during Monday night's work session. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)
The Greenport Village Board during Monday night’s work session. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

The Greenport Village Board has approved a nearly $55,000 study to review the village’s electrical plant that faulted in August and left some residents with without power for more than 11 hours.

During Monday’s work session, village administrator Paul Pallas recommended the board approve a contract with A & F Electrical Testing in St. James to analyze the Greenport Municipal Electric Plant, where an ongoing $5.8 million upgrade project has been underway for several years.

Mr. Pallas said after he talked about the August power outage with officials at the New York Power Authority, which transmits hydropower generated from Niagara Falls to Greenport, it was determined that “a thorough review is warranted.”

“It’s a mandate at this point,” he said.

Although a different consultant conducted a study of the power plant about six months ago, Mr. Pallas said that report “only looked at the components of the system as opposed to the system as a whole.”

“We really want to look at the entire system, including the engineering, to see that the system functions together as a unit,” he said.

Due to urgency and time sensitivity of the study, the Village Board agreed to vote on the contract Monday. It was unanimously approved.

The consultant estimates the report could take up to eight weeks to complete, Mr. Pallas said, adding he believes it could be finished earlier.

When Trustee Mary Bess Phillips asked if the village will be able to take action against the contractors that did the upgrade at the village’s power plant if the report finds errors in their work, Mr. Pallas said: “As far as I know, they have not been fully paid at this point, so there would be money held back if there were egregious problems found.”

Mayor David Nyce said the study will be paid for through the village’s capital improvement fund and said he plans to “go very aggressively after anyone who may have been responsible” for the power plant’s malfunction.

“I’m upset that this money isn’t going to an actual improvement, but is going to something that was already done,” he said.

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