An earlier version of this story contained an incorrect spelling for Cliff Olney. The error has been corrected.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Watertown’s Mayor is seeking a hydropower plan from a City Councilmember.
In a press release issued by Watertown Mayor Jeff Smith on January 19, Mayor Smith requested City Council Member Cliff Olney to release the plan he has for hydropower in Watertown.
According to Mayor Smith, Olney, who was recently sworn into office, previously spoke about his “solution” for hydropower in his campaign, which he claimed would “create $15 million in new revenue” for Watertown.
As stated on Council Member Olney’s website, the proposed hydropower plan would lower taxes, provide cheaper electricity for homeowners and allow for more money in infrastructure investments.
However, Mayor Smith said that he asked Council Member Olney to present his plan at a future work session on February 14. However, Onley was said to have declined without explanation. Smith also asked Olney to provide a copy of his hydropower plan to the full City Council.
“For years now, Mr. Olney has been promising the public that he has a plan to generate $15 million for the City of Watertown to help address the loss of revenue due to the end of our lucrative hydropower contract with National Grid in 2030,” Mayor Smith said in a press release. “Voters put their faith in Mr. Olney to deliver on this promise and now that he is in office, he should share the details of it.”
A Hydropower Committee was recently appointed to discuss options for Watertown once its contract with National Grid ends. Meetings of this committee have been open to the public, and Mayor Smith added that Council Member Olney has been absent from all meetings.
“If Mr. Olney does in fact have a hydropower plan, now would be the best time to present it,” added Mayor Smith. “A solution for hydropower and transparency were focuses of his campaign. If he does have a proposal, he should be forthcoming and share it. If he doesn’t and has misled voters, he should be honest about that as well.”
Watertown’s Hydropower Committee is set to meet on Thursday, January 20 at 6 p.m. at the City Council Chambers.