Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblyman Anil Beephan Oppose Dover Plains Water Company Rate Hike

Michelle Hinchey

June 24, 2024

Senator Michelle Hinchey
DOVER, NY – Senator Michelle Hinchey and Assemblyman Anil Beephan Jr. issued the following statements in response to a decision by the Public Service Commission (PSC) authorizing the Dover Plains Water Company to implement a 51.8% rate increase on residents’ water bills, effective July 1, 2024.

Senator Michelle Hinchey said, “While the PSC rightly denied Dover Plains Water Company’s initial rate hike and escrow account, approving a 51.8% increase that will double residents' bills is still unconscionable. At a time when costs are rising, and the State's Constitution guarantees the right to clean water, burdening residents with exorbitant water prices is not an acceptable solution. It’s clear we need more legislative oversight of small, privately-owned water companies to better protect customers. This is why we need my bills, the Small Water Utility Transparency Act (S1791) and the New York Small Water Authority Act (S1790), which would allow the State to intervene when a company fails to prioritize its customers’ best interests, providing the mechanisms to help ensure affordable services and uphold New Yorkers’ right to clean water.”

Assemblyman Anil Beephan said, “I am deeply disappointed in the Public Service Commission’s decision to allow a 51.8% rate hike for Dover Plains Water Company. From day one, our office has opposed their requested 67% increase, and while we are relieved that was denied, this substantial hike still places an undue burden on our community. It’s time to explore legislative options to address the challenges posed by smaller water companies that cannot provide affordable services, especially in areas with high poverty rates.”

Since its first proposal, Hinchey and Beephan have publicly opposed the Company’s requested rate hike, which initially sought a 67% rate increase and a $30 quarterly surcharge on residents’ water bills. The lawmakers submitted several opposition letters and delivered public testimony to advocate on behalf of Dover residents.