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Assembly OKs bill to reform city Water Board

State Assemblyman David Weprin’s (D-Little Neck) bill to reform the city Water Board was passed by the Assembly last week.

The bill, which still needs to gain approval from the state Senate and Gov. David Paterson, would remove full control from the mayor to appoint the seven-person board and allow the City Council to make three appointments, the mayor three appointments and the city comptroller one appointment. Currently, the mayor is able to make all seven appointments.

“If we have a restructured water board, we believe it would be more independent and responsive to the public,” Weprin said.

The assemblyman noted many businesses and community groups argued against the 12.9 percent rate hike that went into effect July 1.

“High water rates can impact affordability for homeowners, condo and co-op owners, businesses, tenants and their landlords,” Weprin said. “Effectively a rate hike acts as a tax hike imposed without a legislative vote.”

— Anna Gustafson

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