Manchester, N.H., January 29, 2014 – The Northern Pass project, a proposed transmission line carrying low-cost renewable hydroelectric power to New Hampshire and New England, announces the formation of the Coös County Jobs Creation Association. The Association held its first official meeting today at the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield.
The $7.5 million Jobs Creation fund, announced last August, is aimed specifically at creating jobs in the state’s North Country. The Association is made up of Coös County business and economic development leaders who will ultimately decide how best to invest these funds for maximum job creation.
Former State Senator John Gallus of Gallus & Green Real Estate in Berlin will chair the Association. Joining him are Allen Bouthillier, owner of AB Logging in Lancaster; David Atkinson, also of AB Logging in Lancaster and former manager of the Wausau Paper Mill in Groveton; Chris Diego, managing director of the Mountain View Grand in Whitefield; and Ted Burns, co-owner of the Grand Ole Lodge in North Stratford.
“The Coös Jobs Creation Association is one more tool in our economic development tool box to build new and sustainable jobs,” said Gallus. “We owe it to our children to create a secure local future for them here in Coös County. Our young workers have had to leave home for far too long to support their families.”
The fund emphasizes job creation in the County, with a focus on supporting existing local businesses that are expanding or renovating, or helping to attract new businesses to the area. It was created after months of discussions between Northern Pass and local leaders and business people about economic development in Coös County.
“The Coös County Jobs Creation Association, with this leadership, will go a long way in helping North Country residents build a stronger economy,” said Gary Long, President – New Hampshire Renewable Energy Policy Development at Northeast Utilities. “Local control of the Association assures the funding will be used in ways that best support North Country growth by investing in initiatives that make sense for the region.”
Northern Pass is providing the Association with $200,000 in seed money to begin its work. The fund will receive $1 million at the time Northern Pass receives acceptable federal and state permits and actual construction commences, and $500,000 each year thereafter, until it has received $7.5 million total.
The Northern Pass project announced a new proposed route in the North Country last year and is in the midst of the U.S. Department of Energy’s permitting process. ISO-NE, the regional grid operator, granted the project a key approval in December 2013 and the DOE is expected to issue its draft Environmental Impact Statement later this year. A permit application will also be filed with the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to initiate the separate, state-level permitting process. Details on the project can be found at northernpass.us.
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