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Posted on: January 26, 2022

Hempstead Town Board Appoints Three Members to South Nassau Water Authority

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Hempstead Town Board Appoints Three Members to South Nassau Water Authority 
Clavin and Council Members Renew Call on State Representatives to Provide Financial Support for Critical Endeavor

 Three Members to Serve on Independent Body to Oversee and Address Exorbitant Rates and Service Provided by NY American Water

Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin and members of the Town Board today appointed three members to represent the Town of Hempstead on the South Nassau Water Authority District Board. Clavin made the announcement today with Senior Councilwoman Dorothy Goosby, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito, Councilman Dennis Dunne Sr., Councilman Chris Carini and Councilman Tom Muscarella, along with Town Clerk Kate Murray and Receiver Jeanine Driscoll. The South Nassau Water Authority is an independent body, which has been created by the State Legislature, will oversee a district that currently receives water service through the private utility New York American Water. New York American Water, the private water provider that was recently sold to Liberty Utilities, has drawn the ire of frustrated ratepayers who have been paying outrageously high rates for many years compared to those served by municipal water providers. 

The Town of Hempstead’s three representatives on the South Nassau Water Authority will be John J. Reinhardt III, Laura Ryder and Joe Baker. While announcing the members of the South Nassau Water Authority, Clavin and the Council Members renewed their call for the Governor and the South Shore’s State Senate representatives to provide fair and adequate funding for costs associated with the establishment and operations of the new independent body. The members noted that the North Shore Water Authority -- which represents over 5,000 American Water Customers -- receives $1 million annually in state funds, while the South Shore Water Authority -- which represents over 110,000 customers – receives no funding under the bill approved by the state Legislature and signed into law by the Governor in November of 2021. 

“As we move the process forward, we also think that it’s disheartening that the residents of America’s largest township are being treated so disproportionately by our representatives in Albany,” Clavin said. “It’s time our Albany representatives provide equity to the residents of America’s largest township.”

“Tens of thousands of residents in my Councilmanic district and in other communities served by New York American Water have been unfairly ripped off for years by paying outrageous rates for subpar service,” Carini said. “While we are taking this important step today toward ultimately bringing relief to long-suffering NYAW ratepayers, I remain steadfast in calling on the Governor and our state Senators, specifically John Brooks and Todd Kaminsky, to provide financial support for this massive undertaking just as they did for residents living on the North Shore. It is disgraceful that we cannot count on our State Senators to prioritize financial support for residents who are served by the new water district in the same fashion that they did for residents of the tiny water district that serves Gold Coast neighbors on Long Island’s north shore.”  

“I welcome our three representatives on the South Nassau Water Authority, who each provide experience in various aspects, including community leadership, government and water service,” Goosby said. “I believe that residents of the South Shore served by New York American Water deserve the same treatment as the ratepayers on the North Shore, and I will continue to push for funding for this important endeavor.”

“We will continue to fight for ratepayers who have unfairly paid sky-rocketing rates and have received subpar service for way too long,” D’Esposito said. “Working with my colleagues on the Town Board, we are proud to appoint three dedicated members of the community who will provide great contributions to this vital authority. However, these residents deserve better from our state representatives and we demand that they deliver financial equity to the South Shore as they have accomplished for those on the North Shore.”

“New York American Water has been a thorn in the side of so many hard-working ratepayers, and these fine men and women will be huge assets to the new Water Authority,” Dunne added. “I join my colleagues in calling for the state the do the right thing and to fund this critical initiative.” 

The three members representing the Town of Hempstead on the South Nassau Water Authority board, which is set to be put into effect on February 1, 2022, are: 

  • John J. Reinhardt III – Reinhardt is the Commissioner of the Town of Hempstead’s Department of Water, and manages all aspects of the town’s municipal water operations, which serves over 37,109 customers across America’s largest township.
     
  • Laura A. Ryder – Ryder, a trustee on the Lynbrook Village Board, is a community leader, serving in various organizations, including as a member of the American Water Company Outreach Committee from 2018 until 2020, serving as an advocate for fellow residents and providing information to the community in regards to the private water utility.
     
  • Joseph A. Baker – Longstanding community leader and business owner, Baker is the founder and president of the South Merrick Community Civic Association. Baker also serves on the Merrick Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society of the Merricks­­­ and the Police Commissioners Community Council.  

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