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NRG approved to peddle in Athens

The Athens Village Board discusses NRG’s peddling permit in Athens.
January 11, 2019 10:08 pm

ATHENS — NRG is back, for at least the time being.

The Village Board unanimously approved the New Jersey-based integrated power company’s permit to sell in the village during a meeting Wednesday.

A decision to approve the permit was tabled at a Dec. 12 meeting because the company did not indicate the amount of time it planned to conduct business in the village.

NRG previously went door-to-door in the village of Coxsackie in May 2017 talking to residents about opening a solar farm but its permit was revoked after its representatives made inaccurate statements to residents that the company was working with the village on a project.

The company will be allowed to sell from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from Jan. 11 to June 11, Mayor Peter Alberti said after the meeting. The board agreed on the selling time at its December meeting to avoid peddlers going to residents’ doors during night hours.

“This was one of the reasons why we decided to start a peddler’s permit,” Alberti said.

The village charges peddlers $15 a day, $30 a month or $75 for six months, Village Clerk MaryJo Wynne said during the meeting. The company has not paid the fee by Wednesday night.

The village added an amendment to its peddling and soliciting law in October 2017 to prevent what happened in Coxsackie with NRG in from happening again.

As part of the approval, residents complaints about the company could result in the permit being pulled, Wynne said.

“There’s a whole bunch of verbiage here about restrictions on the permit and it can be revoked by the board if there’s problems,” Wynne said. “It kind of safeguards against bad behavior by peddlers.”

The permit can also be pulled when peddlers do not follow its guidelines, Alberti said.

“If the board feels, ‘OK, that they’re really starting to be a nuisance,’ we can pull the permit,” he said.

Other peddlers who have applied for permits in the village in the past include an ice cream truck and some vendors who work during the Summer Concert Series on Friday nights at the Athens Riverfront Park, Alberti said.

“They’ve got to get a peddler permit for the one day,” the mayor said.

Companies choose the village to peddle in because of its large population and it’s easier to get around in, Alberti said, adding companies can go to most places in the village, except Sleepy Hollow Lake.

“There are parts of the village that are in Sleepy Hollow—that [permit] doesn’t cover that in there because that’s a gated community,” he said.

Six months is the maximum amount of time given in a peddler’s permit in Athens, Alberti said, adding a time limit to peddle is important. He hopes no issues will arise from NRG’s presence.

“I hope it ain’t a nuisance,” the mayor said.

NRG Community Solar will soon become Clearway Community Solar following a change in ownership. The company is in the process of transitioning its name, branding and marketing materials, according to a statement from Clearway Community Solar.

“We are also committed to operating as a good corporate citizen in the Hudson Valley and everywhere we do business,” according to Clearway.

The company helps residential customers in the state to go solar without having to put solar panels on their roofs or incur upfront costs, according to Clearway.

Clearway builds and operates solar farms in the Hudson Valley, according to the company.

“We have strict requirements and training to ensure the information shared is detailed and accurate,” according to Clearway.