'A slap in the face of our local taxpayers'

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:58

    The New York State Public Service Commission recently granted another rate increase for Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc., which went into effect on July 1. O&R’s originally proposed $61.7 million rate increase was ultimately reduced to $26.6 million by the state’s public utility regulatory authority. Yet, less than 28 days after the July 1 utility rate hike, O&R is now attempting to force through a second increase of $17.7 million, with limited public input, on customers in the mid-Hudson Valley. I am appalled that O&R is trying yet again to levy further economic burdens on the residents of Orange and Rockland counties. I personally helped in the grassroots effort to reduce the utility’s last requested rate increase. Now, they are trying to increase energy costs once more on small businesses, schools and families in Orange and Rockland counties. Perhaps there should be legislation limiting the time a utility hike can occur; 28 days is nothing more than a slap in the face of our local taxpayers. At a time when everyone is being forced to tighten their belts, we cannot allow O&R to balance its budget on the backs of our local communities. I look forward to working with the PSC again in order to short-circuit this latest attempt by O&R to raise costs on consumers without their consent. Assemblywoman Nancy Calhoun R-C-I-Blooming Grove