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On Monday, the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board (WNYPPAB) announced that it has recommended $1,720,000 in funding to three Western New York enterprises: We Care Transportation Services; Nexus Natural Gas LLC; and Innomotive Solutions Group LLC. Two of the projects recommended involve NGVs. The recommendations are expected to be considered by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) Board of Trustees at its May 20th board meeting.

We Care Transportation Services (one of the largest providers of transportation to the physically handicapped, the elderly and the ailing in Western New York) is recommended to receive $1,000,000 in funding to transition to a CNG vehicle fleet, to retrofit its maintenance garage to accommodate the new vehicles and to build a CNG filling station. We Care is one of the largest employers of residents in the most distressed area of the City of Buffalo. Nexus Natural Gas, an entity formed by seven companies in the Town of Tonawanda with the goal of transitioning to alt fuels, is recommended to receive $570,000 to build a CNG fueling station for the exclusive use of this partnership. The $2.8 million project will decrease emissions, improve air quality and will also allow the companies to reduce their operating costs, expedite future growth and lead to job creation. The companies are beginning the conversion of their vehicles to run on CNG.

The latest recommendations for proceeds awards stem from legislation signed into law in 2012 by Governor Cuomo, known as the Western New York Power Proceeds Allocation Act. The legislation authorizes “net earnings” from the sale of unused hydropower from the NYPA’s Niagara project to be deposited into the Western New York Economic Development Fund to support economic development in Western New York. The Fund has accrued approximately $36 million to date. Approximately $15 million has been approved for awards by the NYPA Trustees on the basis of earlier recommendations by the proceeds Allocation Board. Contracts with awardees will include provisions for periodic audits to ensure that the funds are utilized for agreed-upon purposes. Some projects are subject to legal requirements that must be satisfied before an award of Fund proceeds can be made.