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Nassau water authority to discuss public takeover

The Water Authority of Southeastern Nassau County continues to look into a possible public takeover of Aqua New York Inc., which serves part of Hempstead and Oyster Bay towns.

Water authority members will discuss progress on their feasibility study of the costs and benefits of taking over Aqua as their meeting  at 7 p.m. on Jan. 11 at the Merrick Park Golf Course Clubhouse (2550A Clubhouse Rd., Merrick).

American Water Works Co. of Voorhees, N.J., is still seeking approval from the New York State Public Service Commission to buy Aqua for $71 million.

Supporters of a public takeover say it could mean long-term savings for Aqua customers. But authority members argue a takeover would result in the loss of property taxes paid by Aqua, which school districts would have to recoup through increased taxes.

The authority would need a $100 million bond for 30 years to buy Aqua for $71 million and to make $20 million in capital improvement projects for five years, water authority officials have said. Ratepayers in the service area would vote on a public takeover.

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