After its poor recovery from Sandy and with its debt liability, LIPA resembles a train wreck [“After Sandy: LIPA’s $6.9B burden,” News, Dec. 3].
The utility did not get to where it is by accident, with Albany sharing much of blame. Over the years, New York governors have paid very little attention to LIPA, and now Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo must fix it.
Privatization is definitely not the answer. This would require all of LIPA’s tax-exempt debt to be converted to taxable debt, resulting in a 20 percent increase in rates, by my estimate. In addition, the need to make a profit and pay additional taxes would add even more to what are now among the highest electric rates in the country.
The more practical solution is to reorganize LIPA as a full-service municipal utility under professional utility management. With this structure, all functions would be carried out by LIPA workers and not major outside contractors. Clear accountability and control would be established, while improving efficiency and facilitating communication.
There are more than 2,000 municipal government-owned utilities in the country organized in this manner, and they successfully maintain competitive electric rates and achieve high customer satisfaction. All that is needed to move ahead is approval from Albany.
Matthew C. Cordaro, Shoreham