This bill has been amended

Bill S5278-2013

Authorizes the public service commission, upon application by a municipality, to order costs for infrastructure maintenance and access to be charged to all customer classes

Authorizes the public service commission, upon application by a municipality, following a local law, to order costs for infrastructure maintenance and access to be charged to all customer classes located in such municipality; provides that all costs allocated to the infrastructure maintenance and access function of a water-works corporation including equipment used in connection with the sale, furnishing, transmission and distribution of water for domestic, commercial, public and emergency purposes are eligible to be apportioned to customers in a municipality; defines municipality as a city, town or village in Westchester county.

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  • May 15, 2013: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5278

TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to authorizing the public service commission, upon application by a municipality, to order costs for infrastructure maintenance and access to be charged to all customer classes located in such municipality

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:

To reduce property taxes by having all water rate payers pay for the costs associated with fire hydrant infrastructure maintenance and access charged to a municipality by a private water company.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 (1) authorizes a municipality, after the adoption of a local law, to apply to the public service commission to have the costs associated with infrastructure, maintenance and access it is charged by a private water works corporation to be charged to all customers across all customer classes. Any savings achieved as a result shall be applied to the property tax levy of the municipality in an amount equal to such savings in the following fiscal year.

Within 120 days of receiving an application, the public service commission is empowered to issue an order to have costs for infrastructure maintenance charged to all customer classes in the municipality, relieving the municipality from being charged separately or additionally for the costs. The public service commission can also request information from the water-works corporation or municipality and require that the information be provided in their format.

Section 1 (2) provides definitions for "costs for infrastructure maintenance and access"; "municipality"; and "water-works corporation". Municipality is defined as the nine member consortium of New Rochelle, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Hastings-on-Hudson, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Dobbs Ferry, and Ardsiey.

Section 2 provides that the act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

Municipalities that buy water from a private water corporation have a separate line item in their budgets to pay for fire hydrant infrastructure maintenance and access. The burden of this cost is borne by municipal tax payers and not all water rate payers. This is not the case in municipalities which own their own water systems. Upon investigation, it is evident that many municipal water systems charge all rate payers, not just taxpayers, for all costs associated with water distribution, including hydrant costs. This legislation aims to remedy this inequity and apply the savings to reduce property taxes.

The City of New Rochelle is a municipality that buys water from a private waterworks corporation and a member of a consortium of nine Westchester communities served by a private water company. In 2012, the Citizen's Panel on Sustainable Budgets ("Panel"), a group of community members, was tasked with examining the City's budget and proposing solutions to address its fiscal challenges. The Panel

submitted its final report in September of 2012. One of its recommendations is to relieve property taxpayers of hydrant maintenance costs. This legislation was introduced in response to this recommendation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

Immediately


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5278 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 15, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. STEWART-COUSINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Tele- communications AN ACT in relation to authorizing the public service commission, upon application by a municipality, to order costs for infrastructure main- tenance and access to be charged to all customer classes located in such municipality THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. 1. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a municipality may apply to the public service commission to have any costs for infras- tructure maintenance and access it is charged by a water-works corpo- ration to instead be charged to all customers across all customer class- es located in the municipality provided the municipality adopts a local law to have such costs charged to all customers across all customer classes. Any savings achieved as a result of this action shall be applied to the property tax levy of the municipality which has adopted such a resolution in an amount equal to such savings in the following fiscal year. Within 120 days after receiving an application pursuant to this act, the public service commission is empowered and directed to issue an order requiring that costs for infrastructure maintenance and access be included in the rates charged to all customer classes and apportioned among all customers located in the municipality and that such municipality shall not be charged separately or additionally for costs for infrastructure maintenance and access. The public service commission shall have the power to request any information that it may deem necessary from the water-works corporation or municipality so that it may issue an order as required by this section and may require that such information or application be in the form and manner as the commis- sion may request. 2. Definitions. For purposes of this act:
a. "costs for infrastructure maintenance and access" means all costs associated with maintenance and operation of infrastructure and equip- ment used in connection with the sale, furnishing, transmission and distribution of water for domestic, commercial, public and emergency purposes and shall also mean costs or charges associated with municipal access to infrastructure or equipment. b. "municipality" shall mean the city of New Rochelle, the village of Bronxville, the town of Pelham, the village of Pelham Manor, the village of Hastings-on-Hudson, the town of Eastchester, the village of Tuckahoe, the village of Dobbs Ferry and the village of Ardsley, in the county of Westchester. c. "water-works corporation" shall have the same meaning as that term is defined in section 2 of the public service law. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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