Relates to the definition of rural areas to mean any area of the state not included within the boundaries of any city or village having a population in excess of 20,000 inhabitants.
Ayes (61): Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (1): Adams
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the rural electric cooperative law, in relation to the definition of rural areas
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The intent of this bill is to modify a limitation on the size of a city or village that may be served by a rural electric cooperative so that it conforms to the United States Department of Agriculture definition of rural.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill amends subdivision (c) of section 2 of the rural electric cooperative law, in relation to a rural electric cooperative's ability to serve certain customers within cities and villages with a population of 20,000 or less.
JUSTIFICATION: New York's Rural Electric Cooperative Law definition of "rural areas" (only within the boundaries of any city or village having a population in excess of one thousand inhabitants) is inconsistent with the federally recognized definition as it applies to rural electric cooperatives and could restrict a rural electric cooperative from serving customers within certain rural cities and villages.
New York rural electric cooperatives have a long tradition of providing low-cost, reliable service to their membership. Despite their low "customer density" (averaging 6 members per mile of distribution line), cooperatives outperform traditional investor-owned utilities on rates and reliability of service, quickly restoring power during emergency outage conditions.
As consumer owned utilities with attractive rates, rural electric cooperatives are in a prime position to take an active role in economic development efforts often working closely with county and local officials to attract retail, commercial and industrial businesses to rural Upstate New York. The cooperatives also promote energy conservation, demand side management, and renewable energy development efforts in their communities.
Therefore, considering the potential benefits to ratepayers in certain rural areas of the state, there appears to be no reason to restrict rural electric cooperatives in New York to serving customers only within the boundaries of any city or village having a population in excess of one thousand inhabitants.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3579 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. BONACIC, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommunications AN ACT to amend the rural electric cooperative law, in relation to the definition of rural areas THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision (c) of section 2 of the rural electric cooper- ative law is amended to read as follows: (c) "Rural areas" means any area of the state not included within the boundaries of any city or village having a population in excess of
[one]TWENTY thousand inhabitants. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09460-01-1