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Denenberg Taskforce Against Recommendation to Privatize LIPA

Disaster Response Taskforce tells Moreland Commission "LIPA must remain a public entity."

Empaneled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Moreland Commission is recommending that the Long Island Power Authority LIPA) be shut and replaced with a private company.

According to a Newsday article, the Commission said LIPA had a "fundamental dysfunctional management structure."

The Commission was created to investigate the response, preparation and management of New York's power utility companies with respect to several major storms impacting the state.

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In December 2012, Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, also formed a Disaster Response Taskforce, comprised of civic leaders and residents committed to ensuring that viable solutions are implemented post-storm.

In a Dec. 20 statement, this Taskforce submitted an extensive comment to the Commission. It was prepared by Cindy Kouril, Esq. and Claudia Borecky.

"Our Taskforce adamantly believes that LIPA must remain a public entity," the statement read.

Rather the Taskforce would like "federal money be sought to pay off Shoreham’s debt and invest in infrastructure improvements, such as installing underground wiring."

An estimated 20 percent LIPA rate hike is another reason the Taskforce is against privatization.

"Further, as a public entity, LIPA can receive federal grants," they wrote. "The federal government is reimbursing LIPA for expenses incurred with Hurricane Sandy, which would not have been possible were our power provided by a private company."

Do you think LIPA should be privatized? Tell us in the comments section.

Story by Jaime Sumersille

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