For the last two years, Trustee Tim Cassidy and I have been working with United Water Westchester to sell the water system in the Pelham Heights neighborhood. After many meetings and conference calls, I am thrilled to share that on April 29, 2015, we finally received permission from the New York State Public Service Commission to complete the transaction! This is a big win for the Village because it:
1. Removes the Village’s liability for expensive emergency maintenance;
2. Returns approximately $200,000 to the Village fund balance;
3. Frees up Village employees to work on other tasks;
4. Provides better customer service and payment options;
5. All of which together should reduce Heights’ customer bills.
In the coming weeks, the Village will work with United Water Westchester on the transition of customer accounts. The source of the water stays the same, only the billing and service options will change. More information will follow as we work through the details.
I want to publicly thank the people who made this possible, and who have helped us prepare for this important transition:
Michael Shriman and the entire Public Works staff for keeping the 80 year old system in excellent condition; Deborah DelGrosso for managing 535 accounts in addition to her other duties in the Village; Administrator Robert Yamuder for managing the Village and providing the documents and guidance necessary to complete the transaction; Village Attorney Cathleen Woods King for her help navigating the legal issues; United Water Westchester, without which this would not be possible; Senator Klein and Assemblywoman Paulin and their respective staff for staying involved every step of the way; former Mayor Cassidy for his tireless efforts to negotiate this deal; John Cassone and former DPW foreman Harry Pallett for their historical context (this transaction has been discussed in various forms for 40 years); former Mayor Ed Hotchkiss for re-starting this process; The Pelham Weekly for writing interesting articles on a pretty dry subject (pun intended), and all the Village Trustees who sat through many, many updates on pipe lengths and valve sizes and supported the sale when it came to a vote.
Village of Pelham, NY