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NIFA Nixes Nassau Sewer Deal

A weekly look-in at the news of Nassau County.

The (NIFA) on Thursday rejected County Executive Ed Mangano's proposed contract with Morgan Stanley to broker a deal for a privatized sewer system.

The deal would have paid the financial service firm at least $5 million to broker a deal for the county with a private operator for the sewer system and an investor who would fund the transaction.

According to Long Island Business News:

The contract, approved by the Nassau Legislature April 16, would have retained Morgan Stanley to find an investor that would lend the county upward of $750 million in exchange for making a profit from running the county’s failing sewer system.

"The NIFA board is clearly confused about the potential public-private partnership for Nassau's sewage treatment plants — which are in a state of disrepair and face fiscal crisis," Mangano said in a statement Thursday. "The public-private partnership is not a loan or borrowing."

'Childish' Mailers Cause Back-and-Forth Between Parties

Earlier this week, Mangano sent a mailer out to residents entitled "Ed Mangano is the first county executive to end borrowing against my future." The mailer (pictured right) features a 4-year-old with a messy face on the front holding a sign that reads "Thank you Ed Mangano."

Mangano's mailer continues on to discuss the county executive's achievements during his time in office.

In a response, Democrats created their own mailer (pictured left) that takes jabs at the county executive.

The photo used by Democrats — similar to that used by the county executive — shows a baby with a messy face with the caption "If you think I made a mess, you should see what Ed Mangano has done to Nassau County."

The Democratic mailer goes on to discredit Mangano's accomplishments, claiming that he has not come through on several financial promises made earlier in his tenure.

On Thursday, Nassau County Spokesman Brian Nevin responded to the Democrats' accusations.

"It's unfortunate that Nassau Democrat legislators continue to be part of the problem rather than cooperate in advancing solutions," Nevin said. "Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams and his Democrat legislators are once again telling half the story about Nassau's finances. Rather than tell residents the truth about their tax and spend ways, they have continually used misinformation to hide from their record and have officially lost all credibility. The time for honesty is now."

Legislature to Vote on Social Service Cuts

The Nassau County Legislature will vote at Mondays' legislative session on the recommendation of Mangano to totally end funding for essential human health and welfare services for the county’s citizens.

According to Peter Levy, President of the Coalition of Nassau County Youth Services Agencies, Inc., the impact of this legislative action will mean the end of:

  • The Office of Youth Services
  • The Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services
  • The Red Light Camera Dedicated Fund (currently dedicated to the above services)

"There are countless thousands of people whose lives will change drastically on May 21 if the legislature does not act responsibly before the vote," Levy said. "The total elimination of funding to these departments and the not-for-profit agencies that deliver life-impacting programs to these populations will mean the dismantling of the safety net infrastructure for the most at-risk and neediest citizens in the County. And, once dismantled, it would take years, if ever, to rebuild."

Mangano Announces New, Free Prescription Drug Discount Program

Mangano announced Tuesday a new, free prescription drug discount program is now available for all Nassau County residents. The program was developed by Nassau County and ProAct Inc., a Pharmacy Management Company, to help lower prescription drug costs for all residents.

Beginning this week, the discount cards will be made available via a direct mailing to all households in Nassau County, as well as at Nassau County agencies, pharmacies and at www.NYRxDiscountCard.com. The discount card may be used by residents, regardless of age, income or existing health coverage.

For more information, including a listing of participating pharmacies, call ProAct Help Desk at 1-877-776-2285 or by visiting www.NYRxDiscountCard.com.

2012 Nassau County Senior Citizen of the Year: Herman Eli Soblick

Nassau County announced Tuesday that Herman Eli Soblick, of Franklin Square, has been chosen as Nassau County Senior Citizen of the Year for 2012. The County Executive will present an award to Soblick at a special event on May 31 at the Garden City Hotel. The Nassau County Office for the Aging expects more than 300 senior citizens to attend this event, which celebrates May as Older Americans Month.

An tUasal Airgead July 03, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Sewer plan has usage-based fee, surcharge - Nassau County residents and businesses for the first time would pay for sewer service based in part on how much water they use, instead of solely on property values, under a plan by county officials. Property owners also could be subject to a "surcharge" for unexpected capital expenditures if a $750 million proposal to privatize the county sewer system becomes reality. The investor would sign a 50-year lease with the county and have exclusive rights to collect revenues from the system. Sewage rates/taxes would be frozen through 2015 and then increase by the annual rate of inflation, which the proposal estimates to be 3 percent. United Water, a New Jersey-based company that would operate the system, would earn a base fee of $60 million in the first year, 2013, with estimated increases of 3 percent a year thereafter. Company spokesman Rich Henning said the increases would cover escalating costs of labor and chemicals. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/sewer-plan-has-usage-based-fee-surcharge-1.3819349
Frank July 03, 2012 at 03:36 PM
@ An tUasal Airgead Sad thing is that even privatization would not solve the Western Bays crisis. Nassa County is becoming more and more like NYC. NYC surcharges for sewers, and it is pricey. Nassau Reps should all be voted out of office. They sit in suits and get paid benefits and salaries by the people of Nassau County, only to turn against them in their time of need. i recommend every nassau resident to consider "peaceful civil disobedience". Start by digging septic tanks in your yards and do not pay the proposed surchages. What a shameful situation... embarassing! One of the richest counties in America with the worst mismanagement you can imagine... rivals Haiti.
An tUasal Airgead July 04, 2012 at 03:30 AM
@ Frank - Business as usual (more backdoor nonsense) - The plan was dealt a setback in May when the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state monitoring board that controls the county's finances, rejected a contract to pay Morgan Stanley, the county's financial adviser on the deal, $5 million to manage the sewer transaction. While NIFA officials continue to oppose the privatization, Nassau last month issued a Request for Information to determine if private sector investors are interested. Responses are due by July 11. The county plans to use the "bulk of the proceeds" from the privatization for debt retirement and reserves, according to a recent Fitch Ratings report. County officials last week attempted to distance themselves from the solicitation, arguing it was written by Morgan Stanley. THE DOCUMENT, HOWEVER, BEARS THE COUNTY'S SEAL AND MANGANO'S NAME APPEARS ON THE FRONT PAGE. Morgan Stanley declined to comment. http://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/sewer-plan-has-usage-based-fee-surcharge-1.3819349
Chris Wendt July 04, 2012 at 10:19 AM
Re: "The plan was dealt a setback in May when the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, a state monitoring board that controls the county's finances, rejected a contract to pay Morgan Stanley, the county's financial adviser on the deal, $5 million to manage the sewer transaction." Morgan Stanley was dealt a setback. It is important to remember that NIFA does not run the County, the County runs the County, meaning the County Executive and the Legislature. NIFA controls the finances, but has no (zero) say about whether or not the sewer plants should be privatized, you know...about the political and operational and environmental considerations of privatization. Similarly, NIFA bears no responsibility for the County's decision to privatize (or not), other than to oversee the fiscal soundness of any deal or deals involved, as they have done with the Morgan Stanley fee piece.
John Carroll July 23, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Oh... the residents of Nassau vote very logically... They vote with an attitude of what is good for me... not what is good for the community! Money trumps all else!

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