• October 23, 2019
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Queens Chronicle

Utility bill is smart

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Posted: Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:30 am

I magine having to pay the city thousands of dollars to repair water line damage that you didn’t cause.

Well, that’s what many homeowners on 188th Street in Fresh Meadows have had to go through. A probe commissioned by the city Department of Environmental Protection found that the pipe damage on the homeowners’ properties was caused by stray electric current from disconnected Verizon cables. The utility hasn’t admitted responsibility, but earlier this year it did offer to reimburse the homeowners for the repair costs, as long as they agreed to release it of all claims over the damage.

Whatever the affected 188th Street residents decide to do, it’s our view that there needs to be a fairer way to resolve dilemmas like theirs.

With our high property taxes, owning a house in Queens is already way too expensive. Homeowners should not have to pay for damage they didn’t cause. That’s why we urge Gov. Cuomo to sign state Sen. John Liu and Assemblyman David Weprin’s legislation (S4118C/A5454) addressing the problem. The common-sense bill, which the state Legislature passed last month, would make utilities pay for the repair costs of damage that the city DEP finds them responsible for.

Welcome to the discussion.