NEW CITY, NY— The state Public Service Commission didn’t go far enough to protect Rockland water consumers in a rate-hike decision made today, Rockland County Executive Ed Day said.
“This is a dent in the costs,” he said. “It’s certainly not a victory for the ratepayers of Rockland County.”
The state granted Suez a $4.87 million rate increase, $960,000 less than the water supplier had requested.
If that hike is approved, it means the average Rockland customer will pay a total of $122 more over the next three years for water.
The state also ruled that Rockland ratepayers are on the hook for $31 million in costs associated with a desalination plant that was never built — $8 million less than what Suez requested.
“We continue to maintain that the people of Rockland should not have to pay expenses related to the failed water desalination plant,” Day said. “The ratepayers in Rockland did nothing to deserve these costs.”
Rockland County has a legal action pending that challenges the expenses and cites the failure of the PSC to protect consumers from exorbitant charges related to the failed desalination plant.
The lawsuit contends that the PSC failed to carry out its responsibility to protect the consumer from unreasonable costs.
The decision by the PSC issued today has no bearing on the lawsuit, which continues.