LONG BEACH CITY COUNCIL TO HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE:
Victory for Long Beach Homeowners over LIPA
Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Location: 85 Pennsylvania Avenue in Long Beach, NY
Long Beach, NY – At 9am on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the City of Long Beach is holding a press conference at 85 Pennsylvania Avenue in Long Beach, NY to announce a major victory for Long Beach homeowners. On Thursday, May 9, City Council President Scott J. Mandel wrote a letter to John D. McMahon, the COO of LIPA and Governor Cuomo to express his and the City’s outrage and dismay at the power authority’s attempt to charge homeowners, who were forced to raise or rebuild their homes because of Superstorm Sandy, astronomical fees to move utility poles and other infrastructure. In addition, as City Council President Mandel noted in his letter, LIPA “representatives were insistent that homeowners may not obtain a building permit from us without first contacting LIPA in order to submit a site plan along with an elevation plan.” He also noted that “This is simply unacceptable. Moreover, we do not know of any legal basis for this unreasonable demand. Not only will this draconian process further delay our homeowners’ rebuilding, it will serve to add unnecessary extra paperwork and unreasonable expenses to these already cash strapped and displaced families.”
In response to the issues raised by Council President Mandel’s letter, NY State, according to Richard Kauffman, Governor Cuomo’s Chairman for Energy and Finance, “will dedicate a portion of the State’s federal Sandy funding to cover the utility costs of elevating power lines in these situations so that homeowners and ratepayers are isolated from such costs.” In addition, “LIPA, in coordination with our office, has developed a plan to cover the utility costs of raising or relocating its power lines in their entirety without charging property owners, and to coordinate with your buildings department (and other affected buildings departments across Long Island) to ensure that building permits will not be delayed.”
Thanks to City Council President Scott J. Mandel’s robust response to LIPA’s policy and the Governor’s quick action, homeowners in Long Beach, and on Long Island, who are rebuilding their homes and lives after the devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy will have one less issue to worry about.