Cuomo outlines LIPA restructuring plan, rate freeze

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a proposal this afternoon for PSEG to take over the operations of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). According to Cuomo,

LIPA approved a plan to collect $80 million in storm costs over 10 years, starting next year.

LIPA approved a plan to collect $80 million in storm costs over 10 years, starting next year. (5/13/13)

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined a plan to restructure the Long Island Power Authority at a press conference in Albany today, flanked by both Long Island county executives and other officials.

Cuomo's plan would shrink LIPA's board from 15 members down to five. It would retain government ownership so that the utility remains eligible for government grants and subsidies, but would give New Jersey-based utility PSEG expanded operational control.

The governor called for a LIPA rate freeze through 2015. He says LIPA's rates need to decrease to make power more affordable for residents and businesses, and to do that, the utility's debts and disputes over property taxes must be addressed.

Cuomo skipped the niceties in his remarks, saying, "LIPA is broken and it needs to go away. The people of Long Island have demanded it, and they're right."

The governor says the restructuring plan will require legislation, and his office has a bill in the works that would allow the changes to be instituted.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano thanked the governor for his commitment to Long Island's recovery from Superstorm Sandy, as well as his dedication to making power more affordable on the Island.

For Gov. Cuomo's remarks on LIPA restructuring, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.

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