News Briefs: Thursday, Jan. 30

Jan 30, 2014

Plans for a casino siting board are delayed; National Grid receives a credit to save customers some cash; New York shows positive workplace safety signs; and $1.24 million is sent toward state farms. Catch up on the news of the day with WRVO news briefs.

Siting board appointment likely behind schedule

Chances are becoming slim that a casino siting board will be appointed by the end of January as called for by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo set a schedule for creating the board in January during his State of the State address earlier this month. The New York State Gaming Commission, which appoints members to the siting board, has no meeting scheduled before the end of the month Friday.

Commission spokesman Lee Park said the commission is evaluating candidates and members will be selected soon. Park added that they expect to meet the governor's March deadline for requesting casino applications.
 

National Grid receives cold weather credit

National Grid has been authorized by New York's Public Service Commission to provide its customers with a $32 million credit to help with electric costs.

The commission authorized the credit to offset unusually cold weather for upstate New York that could spike the bills residential and small business customers by as much as 27 percent in the month of February.

National Grid, after consulting with PSC staff, petitioned for authorization to use the one-time customer credit to keep total rates billed in February the same as those in January.

New York improves worker safety rate

New York was one of eight states to register a significant decrease in non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses. The U.S. Labor Department said New York private industry employers reported about 146,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2012, translating to 2.5 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Among state and local government workers in New York, about 69,000 injury and illness cases were reported in 2012, a rate of 7 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Nationally, the rate was 5.6.

Almost 78 percent of injuries and illnesses reported in New York's public sector occurred among local government workers.

New York Farmers awarded $1.24 million

The New York Farm Viability Institute has awarded $1.24 million to 18 projects to improve farm profitability and sustainability in the state.

Projects funded by the non-profit institute include research on dairy, field crops, apples, vegetables, berries and Christmas trees. Other programs include the development of marketing and business plans for farmers, support for grower cooperative and dairy discussion groups.

The institute is a non-profit organization that receives funding through the state budget.