Future of Liberty Water debated during meeting at Lynbrook Public Library
The future of Liberty Water was debated Tuesday during a meeting at the Lynbrook Public Library.
The Board of Directors of the South Nassau Water Authority held the public meeting to talk about Nassau residents' calls for a public takeover of the water utility company.
Liberty is currently private and asking the state to approve a rate hike that would cost some customers an extra $18 a month.
Nassau County residents who use Liberty are now paying up to 1,300% more than Town of Hempstead Water Department customers in some cases.
"The only way to stop the outrageous rate increases is for the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County to stop acting outrageously and take over the operations of Liberty Water and take it over now," says Dave Denenberg, of Long Island Clean Air, Water and Soil.
The meeting got underway at 6 p.m. and the board spoke about housekeeping items before going into an execution session.
A member of the board said the executive session, which lasted about 15 minutes, was necessary to talk about legally protected financial information.
"The due diligence of this board is critical, we are representing 117,000 homeowners and potentially putting them in debt for the purpose of buying this company," said board member John Reinhardt. "We want to make sure we do this process right."
Those who came to the public hearing were frustrated at the delay.
"I'm angry, but I'm more determined," said Beverly Visconti, of Baldwin. "We are going to be heard tonight, they leave the room to go someplace else and meet individually doesn't cut it for us."
Liberty says the hike is needed to update infrastructure.
A board member says they have sent a letter to Liberty Water asking how much it would cost for a public takeover. They say they are waiting for a response.
Those who came out to the meeting say they plan to stay on top of the board and its process in the matter.