Issue of the Week

Would you support Nassau County imposing a five-cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags?

(1171 votes)
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(1331 votes)
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53.2%
2502 votes

On January 1, 2018, a new Suffolk County law will go into effect, charging a five-cent fee for plastic and paper carryout bags, at a variety of retail stores. Those in support of the fee believe it will protect the environment. Those against view it as a tax that will hurt local businesses. Would you support Nassau County imposing a five-cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags?

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Tue, 12/11/2018 - 08:51

Legislature

Lease rooftop space on Nassau County government buildings for the purpose of generating solar power electricity.

(1188 votes)
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(1155 votes)
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2343 votes

The Town of Brookhaven is in the process of doing it and it will generate over $2M per year of new revenue. Why not do the same thing in Nassau?

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/towns/long-island-now-1.1732330/brook...

Comments

Agreed - needs to be discussed

Agreed - solutions like this need to be discussed. Layoffs and freezing salaries for county workers at $31K (or lower) in order to reduce the budget is not the answer.

Rooftop Lease

WHile the idea of leasing rooftop space to generate electricity is a good sounding idea, the devil is in the details. Our government would need to think foward of the needs for roof repairs & replacement as well as maintenance of rooftop HVAC units. How will the lease deal with the Counties needs in this regard taking into account problems 10 years down the road. How much more will it cost to replace the roof with equipment on top when that time comes. WIth a government so incompetent that it can't manage something as simple as how many cars it has out on the road, why would we suppose it could handle a complex lease taking building maintenance into account? Furthermore, if the County decides to sell or redevelop the building in the indeterminate future, it would be restricted by the rooftop lease

As to the economics, it would make more sense for the County to install it's own panels and have a 3rd party maintain them. If you consider that the rate you get paid from the utility for generating electricity is lower than the rate you pay for consuming it, the best deal is for a user to avoid paying the full rate on consumption. This means that the person paying the uitlity bill, namely the County, would be better off reducing their bill kWh-for-kWh than by getting a lease payment from a for-profit company that restricts the Counties ability to use and maintain the rooftop in the future. Furthermore, since the Government is in the business of long-term-planning of the peoples assets, we have to assume that solar panels will get more efficient over time and after a couple of replacement cycles, will be very profitable. Why give that away to a for-profit venture at the peoples expense just to benefit a current budget that will be forgotten in 18-months.

Instead, raise the funds needed to install the equipment either through a bond or a creative cost-avoidance sharing with Nassau residents who choose to invest alongside the County. How hard would it be go get local residents to put-up their dollars to buy equipment that the County would use to avoid paying electrical bills in exchange for a piece of the future revenue stream.

THe County avoids debt, the local residents get to share in a public-private partnership with the County owning the assets and future control of their building.

Food for thought.

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