NY Legislature Creates "North Shore Water Authority"
By Chris ONeill
On June 11, the New York State Assembly (149-0) and Senate (63-0) passed legislation to create the North Shore Water Authority and the South Nassau Water Authority.
These public municipal authorities will take over water provision services for over 5,000 customers in Oyster Bay and 114,000 in Hempstead who - up until now - were serviced by New York American Water, a private water company with a controversial 130 year history.
Ratepayers in Glen Head, Brookville and Sea Cliff – all communities serviced by American Water - have angrily complained for years at water rates that were significantly higher than those charged by comparable local municipal water suppliers in neighboring communities.
New York American Water has in turn complained that it has been burdened - as a private company - by $29.5 million in special franchise taxes. These taxes make up between 31 and 50 percent of a customer's monthly bill.
Mayor Bruno Romano of East Rockaway said he supported the legislation in the hope that it will tackle the high water rates faced by residents.“I am hoping that the costs of water are drastically reduced." he said.
"We are certainly not expecting all of the legal fees, financial costs and any other costs associated to this takeover to be incorporated into the cost of our