Town of Hempstead residents, officials angered at Liberty Utilities' proposal to raise water bill rates
Town of Hempstead residents and officials are outraged at the possibility of a steep water bill rate hike.
Liberty Utilities is proposing a 35% to 40% increase that would affect over 150,000 households in several Hempstead municipalities.
This comes after Libert Utilities' parent company, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation, was acquired New York American Water Company 16 months ago. At the time, Liberty Utilities agreed to hold rates stable through at least 2023.
Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and the South Nassau Water Authority say the Public Service Commission needs to reject Liberty Utilities' water rate price hike proposal
"Now this private company is trying to seek profits off the back of the hardworking men and women who basically using the water to survive," Clavin says. "It's unconscionable, and we're going to ask the residents to join us."
Clavin says a hearing will be held in Albany and locally for residents to comment.
Official statement from Liberty New York Water's President Chris Alario:
"The filing of this rate case followed a complex and holistic review of our utility that revealed a modification to rates is necessary to continue important infrastructure improvements, water quality projects, and resiliency and reliability upgrades throughout the various communities we serve. Additionally, this filing accounts for the continued and escalating property tax burden shouldered by our customers.
Liberty New York Water believes this filing will provide the funding needed to maintain our aging infrastructure at required levels, continue the installation of smart meters, create a low-income payment program as required by the Public Service Commission (PSC), provide customers with a fee-free program for electronic payments, and provide a reduction to fire hydrant fees. Our proposal results in an estimated rate change of $18.32 per month in our Lynbrook system, $15.74 per month for Merrick system customers, and $7.37 per month for North Shore customers. We are committed to a transparent process and will be providing our customers with many opportunities to learn more about the details of this filing and how to be a part of the public process with the PSC."