Nassau Comptroller George Maragos Wednesday asked Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to fix LIPA before the next big storm hits and further damages the local economy.
Maragos, who estimates that Nassau lost up to $1 billion in consumer sales because of superstorm Sandy, said he supports the governor’s move to appoint an oversight commission. But he said Long Island cannot wait for its investigation to be completed before repairs are made to LIPA.
In a letter to Cuomo, copied to federal and state elected officials, Maragos made four recommendations:
- Install “a top notch professional utility management team as soon as possible” to run LIPA..
- Require LIPA to make temporary repairs permanent to prevent thousands of repeat outages when the next storm blows in.
- In source transmission system operations and maintenance, which are now outsourced to National Grid and then to a New Jersey company in 2014.
— Deregulate the market for providing power on Long Island to allow competition rather than continuing a LIPA monopoly.
Maragos, whose Great Neck home was without power for 13 days after Sandy, said in a news release, “The sad reality is that Long Island residents and our local economy have suffered significant damage. We realized how dependent we have become to a power-supply monopoly that has proven mismanaged and unprepared.
“I ask the governor to fix immediately what we already know is wrong with LIPA.”