National Grid rejects town offer on extension

Sum was too "large"
Wed, 04/27/2016 - 3:15pm

National Grid has rejected the Town of New Shoreham's request for what was termed by National Grid as a "large sum of money" in connection to the utility company's requested 45-day deadline extension, according to National Grid's Media Relations Director David Graves.

In a statement sent to the Town Council, Town Manager Nancy Dodge, and copied to The Block Islands Times, National Grid wrote the following:

“During the April 20th Town Council Meeting, National Grid presented an easement extension request related to the submarine cable installation, spelling out multiple, specific measures to mitigate possible temporary public and community impacts resulting from the extension. The Council did not accept those measures and instead requested that National Grid pay a large sum to the Town of New Shoreham for purposes some of which we know to be unrelated to the project. The Company has rejected that condition and is reviewing its construction schedule and will contact the Council at the appropriate time. This is an important project for the Company and for the residents and businesses of Block Island, who stand to directly receive the project’s benefits. We’re committed to working with the Town and other stakeholders as we continue to advance construction."

When contacted by The Times, Graves elaborated by saying, "It was a large amount of money. It was unacceptable. It's not part of our practice. We need to make sure the Town Council is clear on that issue."

When asked if National Grid would now meet the original deadine of May 15, Graves said, "Hopefully, we'll be able to come to some understanding to get the job done."

National Grid had requested for a new deadline of June 30. The company had experienced drilling delays at Scarborough Beach on the mainland.

Learn more about this story in this week's edition of The Block Island Times.