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Letter: Open Letter to LIPA Board of Trustees

(Editor’s note: The following is a copy of a letter from Senator Charles Fuschillo and the Long Island Senate Delegation to the LIPA Board of Trustees opposing LIPA’s rate increase proposal. The letter was read into public record at a LIPA public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 6 regarding its rate increase proposal.)

December 6, 2011

Members of the Board of Trustees
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Boulevard
Uniondale, New York 11553


Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

We are writing to urge you to reject a proposal to increase LIPA rates as part of its proposed 2012 budget.

LIPA ratepayers already pay some of the highest utility costs in the country.  On top of that, they pay some of the nation’s highest property taxes and are dealing with some of the worst economic conditions since the great depression. They cannot afford to keep paying more.

Families and small businesses have been making tough choices and doing more with less in this economy. New York State has done the same, closing a $10 billion budget deficit without raising taxes.

However, LIPA is planning a 5 percent spending increase on salaries and benefits over the 2011 approved budget. In addition, LIPA is also increasing spending on outside consultants, according to a November 10th Newsday story. LIPA should follow the example of their customers and work harder to find internal savings and efficiencies.

With over 94,000 Long Islanders unemployed, and every family feeling the effects of the current economy, now is not the time to raise their bills even higher.  We strongly urge you to reject a rate increase because of the effect it will have on LIPA ratepayers.

Sincerely,
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo,
Jr.Senator Dean Skelos
Senator Owen Johnson
Senator Kenneth Lavalle
Senator Kemp Hannon
Senator Carl Marcellino
Senator John Flanagan
Senator Jack Martins
Senator Lee Zeldin