Customers, lawmaker wary of bill hikes if NY American Water is sold

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Some of Long Island's water service may soon to be in the hands of a Canadian utility provider as New York American Water finalizes a deal to sell its local operations.

Customers like Agatha Nadel, of Glen Head, say running water has become an expensive utility. She has paid nearly $500 for just one month of water.

Nadel, with North Shore Concerned Citizens, is even more concerned amid the possible pending sale of her water supplier, NY American Water, to Liberty Utilities. The Canadian company owns energy, water and natural gas operations in North America.

Nadel says that even though Liberty says customer rates are "not expected to be affected," she believes they most certainly will.

"We now want this sale blocked and want the public takeover to occur," Nadel says. "Public ownership benefits the community when you take out the profit factor and taxes you are in line with everyone else."

If the sale is finalized, Liberty would service about 120,000 Nassau County customers living in Sea Cliff and parts of Glen Head, Glenwood Landing, Old Brookville, Roslyn Harbor and Glen Cove.

State Sen. Jim Gaughran says Liberty is buying New York American Water for $608 million and it's expected to be finalized in the summer of 2020. He says the company most certainly wants to see a quick profit.

"I can only assume another private water company taking over the existing one and fleecing many of the people I represent is not going to be giving them a break," Gaughran says.

Nadel and her group will put up a fight demanding the sale to be blocked and a public takeover to be forced.

"We will get that water one way or another," she says.

The sale of NY American Water must be approved by the Public Service commission.

MORE COVERAGE: Rate hike on tap for New York American Water customers 
New York American Water announces rate hike 
Could LI tap NYC water supply? Officials explore the idea 

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