WATERTOWN — Mayor Jeffrey M. Smith is making good on a campaign promise to start working on the looming loss of the city’s hydropower contract with National Grid.
He has named a hydroelectric task force to start looking at what the city can do to offset the loss of millions of dollars after the agreement ends in 2029.
“The committee announced this week is made up of some of our region’s best and brightest. I am confident their intelligence, ideas and leadership will enable our city to develop an innovative way to address the loss of this contract and look forward to working with each of them toward that goal,” Mayor Smith said.
Currently, revenue generated from the contract totals more than $4 million annually. In the coming years, that amount will increase to more than $6 million.
Mayor Smith initially announced the committee during remarks delivered at Wednesday’s oath of office ceremony. Members of the newly formed committee are:
— Former City of Watertown Mayor Joseph M. Butler, who will serve as the committee’s chairman.
— Council member Sarah V. Compo, who will serve as the City Council Representative for the committee.
— Jefferson County Legislator William W. Johnson, a former National Grid employee who had direct involvement in the establishment of the hydropower contract with National Grid.
— Jeffrey Fallon, a Watertown city resident who works in the local financial industry and previously worked in management for National Grid’s former configuration, Niagara Mohawk. He also recently served as a member of the city’s Charter Commission.
— Former City Councilman Steve Bradley, a Watertown resident and downtown business owner.
— Jeri Gosier, a Watertown resident and Watertown City School District educator. She also served on the Charter Commission;
— Shane Garrabrant, a Clarkson University graduate with a degree in electrical engineering. Additionally, Mr. Garrabrant has experience working at Oswego County’s Nine Mile Point Nuclear Generating Station and is currently employed at Jade Stone Engineering in Watertown.
— Jackie Gagnon, a Clarkson University graduate who is a civil and environmental engineer employed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Committee meetings will be open to the public and a schedule of meetings will be made available in the near future.