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PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:13 am 
The Southampton Chamber of Commerce recently lost a battle with LIPA over a Visual Benefit Assessment (VBA) for the Town and Village of Southampton.

By putting in a surcharge LIPA circumvented the usual price increase process. By charging the businesses and residents of selected parts of Southampton a USAGE based surcharge they have created a truly dangerous precedent for all Suffolk County. Over heard line transmition is fought everywhere because of environmental effects.

Now LIPA will just surcharge the area by leaning on weak politicians who cow tow to wealthy constituents whose concerns never go past their own personal property lines.

By over taxing business in this way we are exasperating an already difficult economy


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 7:01 pm 
Southampton Bob wrote:
The Southampton Chamber of Commerce recently lost a battle with LIPA over a Visual Benefit Assessment (VBA) for the Town and Village of Southampton.

By putting in a surcharge LIPA circumvented the usual price increase process. By charging the businesses and residents of selected parts of Southampton a USAGE based surcharge they have created a truly dangerous precedent for all Suffolk County. Over heard line transmition is fought everywhere because of environmental effects.

Now LIPA will just surcharge the area by leaning on weak politicians who cow tow to wealthy constituents whose concerns never go past their own personal property lines.

By over taxing business in this way we are exasperating an already difficult economy


Transmission lines require huge tracts of land 300' wide by miles. New Technology transmission only requires 3' wide underground corridors. That's a normal road easement. Selling the land can pay for putting the entire grid underground.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:34 pm 
Community Message Rings In LIPA's Ear: Bury Lines Before They Bury Us!
Andrea Aurichio Southampton - In one of the South Fork’s clearest hours the community came together on Monday, Jan. 7, at the Southampton Inn to send a concerted message to LIPA at its final public hearing regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) released by the utility on what has become a controversial plan to install 60 foot tall transmission lines along an eight mile stretch of some of the most scenic roadways in Southampton, Water Mill and Bridgehampton. The power lines are needed to satisfy the increased energy demands in the area.

The message was loud and clear, the battle lines were drawn and the people spoke out. They said “Bury the lines, bury the lines, bury the lines, before they bury us.”

Armed with notes and computer enhanced photographs depicting the impact the tall poles would have on the landscape, speaker after speaker took to the podium to address the proposal in the filled to capacity, standing room only, meeting room. Several speakers told the audience they took the afternoon off from work to attend the hearing held between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. There were no speakers in favor of the plan. Speaking out against the plan, Southampton Town Councilwoman Nancy Graboski took to the podium, followed by Councilman Christopher Nuzzi. New York State Assemblyman Fred Theile put in an appearance, as did Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and Southampton Village Trustee Nancy McCann. Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman also went on record against the plan. Noted environmentalist Larry Penny relayed his thoughts on burying the lines and pointed to LILCO’s efforts to bury lines from Amagansett to Montauk more than a decade ago. That undertaking was reportedly accomplished successfully within a few weeks once work got underway.

Adding import to the official opposition, two local real estate agents also addressed the crowd, and the LIPA representatives, making the case for a potential decrease in property values to the neighborhoods where the transmission poles would traverse the back roads.

The elected officials were joined by a host of civic activists, and concerned residents. Among the most colorful speakers was Sag Harbor resident Joe Pintauro who took the podium late in the afternoon as the once crowded room began to empty. Pintauro was a plain spoken show stopper as he addressed the lone LIPA official, gathering audience applause at several points in his speech.

“Who are you?” Pintauro asked. “Why do we have to cajole these people?” Pintauro said as he addressed the audience. “I hate to use words like this,” Pintauro said, “But LIPA is stupid. They don’t understand the difference between a cabbage and a rose. These LIPA board members don’t care if they come out here and ‘rape’ a coveted area. Where are all the billionaires whose planes are going to crash into these poles?” Pintauro asked, “It is absolutely shocking to me that we have to cajole these people. What they are proposing is unconscionable. Bury the lines.”

Michael Burns was equally outspoken noting that the meeting room was filled with hundreds of people on a Monday afternoon in January. “This is the dead of winter,” Burns said, “And the room is packed. If you held this meeting in July we would have thousands of people here instead of hundreds. Noting the one silent LIPA official present who did not interact with the audience, Burns said, “It’s like talking to a puppet head. That’s all I have to say,“ Burns charged. “Bury the lines.”


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:29 pm 
In response to Sara's post. I am just amazed at how difficult it is to make most of you understand my point of view. I actually believe that you are purposely ignoring what my position is now and always has been.
I have ALWAYS supported burying the lines through Watermill. Do you get that I WANT the lines buried. That is to SAY I WANT THE DAMN THINGS UNDERGROUND. If you can't understand that don't read further because you simply Cannot Understand Normal Things.
It is the way that we pay for the lines being buried that is an issue. Burying 2 miles of LIPA lines under existing lines does have a benefit to the community albeit safety or property values or just the way it looks.
But placing an unfair burden on users by doing the surcharge by usages is unjust. By making me pay more than my part time next door neighbor is unjustly penalizing me for living here full time. By limiting the area's within the town that have to pay unjustly distributes the debt. By taxing the businesses that use more to meet the demands of their consumers is inflationary and just plain dumb. To say that the usage based surcharge will encourage conservation on the part of businesses is garbage because as a whole the commercial use of electricity on Long Island has DECREASED in 2008.
So if you have actually read this far please respond to the issues above. The LIPA board members know "off the record" of course that I am absolutely correct with all the other increases over he next twenty years (length of surcharge) Long Island businesses might just cease to exist. That this extortion of VBA benefits will lead to more and more of the same all over Long Island, that the hold harmless liability portion of this unprecedented action will lead to more extortion of environmental desires of rate payers against surcharge dollars.
Southampton BOB


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 Post subject: No to Smart meters
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:44 am 
To charge based on time of usuage is a little bit extreme. LIPA should not have the ability to install so called "smart meters" as they are another invasion of privacy and more excess of government intrusion on people's lifes. Its all about making more money on the back of taxpayers.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 9:27 am 
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Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:55 pm
Posts: 368
June 2008
Rep. Israel, LIPA President/CEO Kevin Law and Local Business Owners Announce New Federal Funds for Smart Metering Program
$750,000 in Federal Funds Will Allow Businesses and Consumers to Save Money by Monitoring and Adapting Energy Usage
Hauppauge, NY— Monday, U.S. Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY), a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, joined LIPA President and CEO Kevin Law and local business owners to announce initial approval of a new federal program to use smart metering— new metering technology that will allow energy consumers to reduce or shift their energy usage, increase reliability and encourage energy efficiency by facilitating smarter end-user technologies.

“With energy prices at record highs, new technologies that save money and improve efficiency are long overdue,” Israel said. “The funds I secured will help save businesses and families money and make delivery more efficient. This money will allow LIPA to fully test capabilities of this cost-saving technology without adding to the bill of the rate-payers who are already getting hit hard elsewhere.”

LIPA President and CEO Kevin S. Law, who is placing $300,000 in LIPA’s 2008-2009 capital budget for the smart meter pilot program, was elated by the promise of federal funding. “These funds will go a long way in expanding our smart meter plans,” Law said. “I commend Congressman Israel for recognizing the value of making the federal government a partner with LIPA on projects like this. We must be proactive in tackling our energy issues as the skyrocketing prices of oil and natural gas are ushering in the future prematurely.”

“As an IT managed service provider, mindSHIFT operates thousands of computers and servers for our customers in our Commack (NY) data center, and we use a lot of LIPA-provided electricity in the process.” said Tyler Roye, senior executive officer, mindSHIFT Technologies. “Even a small percentage increase in efficiency from smart metering can give us an edge over competitors, while helping the environment at the same time.”

Smart metering technology is an important first step in modernizing our electric grid. The sharing of information allowed by smart meters will help LIPA to initiate or enhance more advanced programs, including Smart Grid distribution operations improvement and time-differentiated price signals. This smart metering pilot project will involve the installation of smart meters for large and small industrial and commercial customers and residential customers allowing LIPA to test a number of functions:

The ability to collect meter information using the new technology.
The ability to share meter information with the customer in near real time.
The ability to provide pricing signals to the customer.
The ability to detect system conditions, including load and usage along the system.
The ability to send control signals to equipment situated along the distribution system.
The feasibility of various communications schemes and technologies.
Congressman Israel secured initial approval of $750,000 in federal funds for a Smart Metering Pilot Project at LIPA as part of the Energy and Water 2009 funding measure, just passed through the House Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water Subcommittee on Wednesday, June 18, 2008. The funding will be used to test, study and evaluate smart metering technology in Hauppauge and Bethpage. In selecting the smart metering pilot areas, LIPA sough the best value proposition that balanced technical test-bed requirements and enhanced economic competitiveness by providing customers with the opportunity to better manage their energy costs through flexible time differentiated pricing option and real-time energy usage information. Neighboring residential communities will also be apart of the pilot project.



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:43 am 
LIPA's Transmission Line $4 Million Over Projected Cost; Thiele Calls For VBA Audit
Andrea Aurichio
The usage based surcharge will cost ratepayers an estimated $2.50 a month for the next 20 years beginning in April 2009 based on average consumption of 775 kilowatt hours of electricity a month


Bridgehampton - New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele (R-Sag Harbor), in an effort to determine the cost overrun incurred by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) for the underground installation of high voltage transmission lines along a 4.5 mile scenic corridor in Southampton, has called upon New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli requesting an expanded audit of the power company now in progress.

The cost overrun for the underground installation has been estimated by LIPA officials to be approximately $4 million, raising the project total to $12 million over the estimated $8 million to $10 million purported during the construction phase. According to the terms of a court ordered settlement this cost overrun will be passed on to a segment of Southampton Town residents in April 2009 when the surcharge, referred to as a Visual Benefits Assessment (VBA) goes into effect.

Assemblyman Thiele has called for the audit to determine the exact cost overrun and examine the $4 million gap between the initial $10 million figure, that dropped to $8 million once the project was put out to bid, and the $12 million now being quoted by LIPA.

“We feel it is necessary to audit this project in order to ensure that costs are apportioned properly,” Thiele said in a letter to DiNapoli dated Nov. 7, 2008.

In this communication Thiele indicated the Comptroller should determine the total cost of the project as well as the cost of the underground installation along the 4.5 mile route to ensure that area residents will not be unfairly charged for the project.

The usage-based surcharge is expected to add an estimated $2.50 a month to residential users bills based on average consumption of 775 kilowatt hours.

Edward Dumas, LIPA’s vice president of Communications, noted figures for commercial users were not available at this time. However, previous estimates released by LIPA indicated commercial users could expect to see a $10 monthly increase on their bills.

Dumas also noted commercial users could estimate their anticipated VBA rate hike by multiplying their monthly kilowatt usage by three-tenths of a cent.

The surcharge will remain in effect for 20 years and will be charged to Southampton Town residents from east of the Shinnecock Canal to portions of Sag Harbor Village. The Tuckahoe section of Southampton and the Shinnecock Nation will not be subject to the surcharge.

LIPA officials have not received any requests for additional information from DiNapoli’s office as a result of Thiele’s request according to Dumas, who noted the power company welcomed the audit.

“We are not sure what the final cost will be yet,” Dumas explained, noting LIPA was still negotiating with its suppliers and contractors now that the project has been completed. Dumas also noted LIPA had to spend more money than anticipated to comply with requests from Southampton Town regarding paving and roadwork along the route.

“Whatever it is, whether it turns out to be $11.1 million or $10 million, we are obligated to proceed under the terms of the court ordered settlement,” Dumas maintained, noting the terms of the agreement required the town to indemnify the cost overrun involved in the underground installation project along the scenic corridor does not cap a specific dollar amount.

“We have an agreement,” Dumas said, “that resulted from lengthy and sophisticated negotiations so we could honor this unprecedented request.”

LIPA crews at work “burying the lines" to preserve the scenic vista.

The VBA was initially well received by the community as the Town, and the public took LIPA to task demanding the transmission lines be buried along the entire nine-mile transmission route while rejecting LIPA’s compromise hybrid plan that proposed a 55/45 percent alternative proposal that would have resulted in a section of aboveground high transmission lines running along the scenic back roads from Water Mill to Bridgehampton.

According to LIPA officials, the cost of installation for the aboveground route was estimated at $10 million for the entire Southampton to Bridgehampton project. The hybrid plan was estimated at $20 million, while cost estimates for the entire underground project were placed at $30 million.

After months of contentious public hearings, and negotiations with officials of Southampton Town, LIPA’s battle with the town ended up in court as Town officials moved to stop the project unless the lines were buried along the 4.5 mile route, effectively compelling LIPA to underground the entire project.

According to LIPA officials, the $10 million cost for an overhead installation to provide the East End with upgraded service would have been borne by LIPA’s entire ratepayer base. LIPA officials, while sympathetic with the community’s desire to preserve its scenic vistas, remained firm in their view that the cost should not be borne by ratepayers across the region as a whole. Their proposed 55/45 hybrid plan would also have been absorbed by LIPA’s entire customer base. The surcharge came into play, according to LIPA, when the aboveground company was compelled to install the lines underground


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