Freeport Mayor Leaves Residents, Senator In Dark
by Stewart Lilker
After a summer in which Freeportís
William Glacken and his all Republican Board of Trustees tried
to demolish Freeportís public swimming pools, the Glackenites
are up to it again. This time, Glacken and the Board are
planning to have a private developer lease part of Freeportís
Power Plant Number 2 to build an independently operated power
plant, while still leaving Freeport Electric without adequate
power reserves. Additionally, the Mayor is planning to continue
to run two diesel generators that spew raw diesel fumes into
Freeport and Merrick.
(Photo: This past summer, Senator Charles
Fuschillo, insert left pushing stroller, marches with
demonstrators against the pollution of Freeport's Power Plant
Monday night, September 24,
2001, appeared to be a routine Village Board meeting. Unknown to
the public, the eveningís agenda included an item that Mayor
Glacken and the Board sprung on the residents of Freeport
without warning or one word of public discussion. The
Glackenites had good reason to ignore their requirement to have
Board agendas ready on the Friday before their regularly
scheduled meetings. On the last page of the
agenda was a request to put out for bids the building
of two 44 Megawatt generators. These are to be located on land
leased from the Village on the site of Power Plant Number 2
The recent nationwide energy
problems have had a large impact on Freeport and those small
communities that generate their own power. Minimum generation
requirements and load demands have made it necessary for
Freeport to generate electricity from their pollution spewing
two cycle diesel generators located at PPN2. PPN2 has been
blasting unregulated raw diesel exhaust into the atmosphere
since the early seventies. On June 19, 2000, when FNYN
questioned Glacken about the cancer causing effects of diesel
disputed the validity of those claims.
FNYN has learned that in a plan
developed earlier this year, it appeared that an agreement was
almost reached between LIPA and Freeport, wherein LIPA would
build two 44 Megawatt gas turbine generators, with LIPA owning
one, Freeport the other and Freeport Electric operating both
generators. LIPA was going to split the cost of the gas line to
fuel the generators, which was estimated to cost 12 million
dollars. At that time, it was estimated that Freeport would have
had to come up with about another 40 million dollars to pay for
one generator. This generator, if built, would have allowed
Freeport Electric to have met the NYS minimum generation
requirements. The deal fell through and as a result, Freeport is
still about 17 Megawatts short of generating capacity.
In Glackenís most recent
scheme, of which some of the details were sprung on an
unsuspecting public this past Monday night, Freeport will lease
a portion of PPN2 to an independent operator. Glacken didnít
know how much property this would require.
The only details Glacken
revealed about the proposed lease was itís length of time,
between fifty and a hundred years and that there would be
payments in lieu of taxes and a ground lease. Glacken did not
reveal how much the Village would be paid.
Both Glacken, and his brother in
law, mob/village attorney Harrison Edwards, agreed that after an
as yet undetermined length of time, the Village would have the
option to buy the generators.
Glacken and Edwards disagreed on
whether or not Freeport Electric workers would be operating the
When FNYN asked Glacken if the
diesels would still be able to operate without any pollution
controls, Glacken said, "I donít expect any restriction
FNYN asked Glacken if emission
restrictions were imposed, how much he thought it would cost.
Glacken answered, "I donít think that itís going to
cost us anything additional to meet whatever requirements may be
imposed. I donít think that they are going to be imposed. I
donít think the case is a credible case."
Glacken explained that even if
this generation is built, Freeport will still be required to
come up with approximately 17 Megawatts of generating capacity
in order to meet NYS minimum generation requirements.
FNYN asked Glacken, "In
order to satisfy the Independent Systems Operator, couldnít we
have just built a 20 megawatt dual fuel generator at power plant
number one or two."
Glacken answered, "Maybe we
will do that, too, somewhere down the road."
Along with Senator Fuschillo,
who is still waiting for Glacken to return his phone calls,
Glacken is also keeping the public in the dark, not only about
the plans at PPN2, but about Freeport Electricís plan to build
generation on its own. The utility is planning to install up to
40 Megawatts at Power Plant Number 1. In the near term, the
utility is anticipating moving forward with the installation of
a 20 MW unit at PPN1 and has indicated a cost of $20 million in
its capital plan for 2001-2003. No one knows when, if ever, the
Glackenites intend to inform the public about this.