According to Mid-Hudson News,
KINGSTON – The sting of Central Hudson’s billing problems was the topic of a public hearing Tuesday when Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan, state Senator Michelle Hinchey (D-Saugerties) and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (D-Kingston) met with residents at Kingston High School.
A Department of Public Service investigation is looking into the regional utility’s billing issues, and comments gathered at the hearing will be submitted into that inquiry.
On March 30, Ryan sought the public’s help for this investigation, and so far 3,000 comments have been submitted.
Kymara Lonergan, who owns Thunderhorse Hollow Farm in Ulster Park, received a January bill from Central Hudson for $3,000.
“I didn’t understand why it was $3,000 because we don’t run incubators. We’re running a few buckets and things for the horses in the barn to have water to keep it from freezing,” she said. “They weren’t addressing me about my concerns. One lady was telling me about her chickens, so I never got anywhere with them. The next month my bill is $6,000.
“I called on Easter to call in. Sixteen thousand dollars is what they tell me on the phone. I am going to be truthful with you people I became suicidal because I can’t pay that bill. I am going to lose my farm.”
Ryan is outraged by the utility’s actions and empathetic toward the county residents dealing with their shock and anger.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous we even have to be here,” he said. “If we don’t take the action as individuals to document what’s happening with detail and with humanity of actually telling the personal stories of the pressure and stress on so many people, if we don’t do that, we know this big company, which is owned by a global hedge fund, is not going to listen.”
Hinchey, too, is upset with Central Hudson and the public suffering caused by the utility.
“We are being hit by things in all directions. And the last thing we need is our utility company, which provides with a necessity that we pay for to go off the rails and not do their job, and put is all of us, all of you and all of our community members in positions we cannot get out of,” she said.