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State to hold virtual hearings on potential NYAW takeover

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The state Department of Public Service will hold a series of virtual hearings later this month as part of a study that will look into the feasibility of municipalizing New York American Water, the privately owned utility whose service and water bills have long been decried by Nassau County customers.

On Feb. 3, Gov. Andrew Cuomo appointed Rory Lancman, special counsel for ratepayer protection, to oversee the study, which will assess different ways to reduce customer costs, including a public takeover. The study is set to be completed by April 1.

The proceeding includes three virtual hearings at which residents and elected officials can offer public comment. Lancman said each hearing will address a different part of NYAW’s Nassau operation, which includes the Lynbrook, Merrick and Sea Cliff service areas.

"Public forums give ratepayers the chance to directly communicate their concerns and share their ideas for improving water delivery, so that Governor Cuomo, the commission, legislators, local government officials and the public can make an informed decision on how best to reduce water rates and provide safe and reliable drinking water in the long term,” Lancman said in a news release. “I urge everyone concerned with the future of water delivery on Long Island to participate in the forum for their area.”

The hearings will take place from Feb. 23-25 at 6 p.m. Ratepayers are asked to attend the hearing within their service area. (see box) Those wishing to comment on the record must pre-register by 12 p.m. on the day of the hearing.

Participants can register by phone at 1-800-342-3330 or on www.webex.com by clicking “Join” at the top right-hand corner of the screen and entering the appropriate event number listed in the sidebar.

For more information, click here.