HEMPSTEAD - A group of residents who are forced to rely on a private water company held a protest against high rates at Hempstead Town Hall today.The protesters called on officials to make the switch from the Pennsylvania-based company Aqua to public water for all of the residents. Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) says the town should pay for a study on expanding public water. "The county, in case you haven't read, isn't doing well financially," he says. "At the same time, the town is doing well financially, and water is a service provided by the town, not the county."However, Town of Hempstead Spokesperson Mike Deery says Denenberg should get the county to provide the funds. "If he really believes that he needs additional funding, he should put his money where his mouth is," Deery says. At today's town board meeting, Town Supervisor Kate Murray said the water authority has not requested any extra funding to study a public transfer.