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Municipalization Supporters in Rochester, N.Y., Vow to Continue Efforts in Wake of Vote

Supporters of efforts to replace investor-owned Rochester Gas & Electric in New York State with a public power utility are vowing to continue their municipalization efforts in the wake of a recent vote by the Monroe County Legislature that rejected a proposal to fund a public power study.

The Monroe County Legislature voted on the proposal on Nov. 14.

“The County Legislature had a chance to give our community real answers on what it would mean for Monroe County to have a public utility, so that we can move forward based on facts and a plan recommended by experts,” Metro Justice, a Rochester organization that supports the creation of a public power utility for the city.

The Rochester for Energy Democracy movement “remains steadfast in its commitment to enacting the public will for a public alternative to RG&E. The fight is far from over. There is still a path to pursue funding and commissioning a study, especially with a new County Legislature taking office in January,” Metro Justice said on Nov. 15.

“We look forward to winning a study, and proceeding with a referendum for a public utility once a study is completed,” Metro Justice said.

The Rochester, N.Y., City Council on June 20 voted to reserve funds for a public power utility study. In coordination with passing the city’s annual budget, the City Council passed a statement of necessity to reserve up to $500,000 for the study unanimously.

An independent legal analysis from the Environmental Advocacy Clinic at the University at Buffalo School of Law released this summer makes the case for allowing for community stakeholder participation in the development of a request for proposals for a municipalization feasibility study

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