Cecilia DowdJul 12, 2018, 2:43 pm

Protest held outside water utility headquarters in Merrick complains of high water bills

Demonstration comes after state report revealed company allegedly covered up overcharging errors to customers

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MERRICK — It's an issue on the north shore and also on the South Shore. Residents Thursday gathered to protest New York American Water. They say their bills are just way too high.

“My water bill last month was $18 and the last bill I received with them was about two weeks ago and that was $454.00 for one month” said Bellmore resident Edward Steinman. He added that he does not plan on paying that $454.00 bill. He added that he does not plan on paying that $454.00 bill.

The organization Long Island Clean Air Water and Soil organized the rally outside New York American Water's headquarters in Merrick.

“We need the state legislature to pass a bill where the comptroller looks into, through a full feasibility study, the most effective, efficient and equitable way to take over all of New York American Water,” said Clean Air Water and Soil Co-Director Dave Denenberg.

Assemblywoman Christine Pellegrino said she will be proposing legislation to do just that.

A representative for New York American Water initially said someone from the company would be available for an interview for this story, but now they said no one will be available.

Instead, the company released a statement. It says that it's established a plan which includes immediate review of financial and reporting controls, it’s planning a community cabinet and will be establishing a hotline and email address for customers.

The statement is in response to a recent Dept. of Public Service report that found the company not only overpaid its taxes, and thus customers overpaid for water in the Sea Cliff area, but then allegedly tried to cover up the errors.

The report came after company officials went to the Dept. of Public Service about the errors.

Now, New York American Water also says it's reaching out to elected officials to discuss ways of reducing the cost of delivering water to customers.

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