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Reactions from RG&E and community supporters to Monroe County’s denial of funding for a public utility study



Rochester, New York – The Monroe County Legislature has voted against funding a public utility study.

Tuesday night, legislators voted 16 to 13 against committing $1 million for the study, which would get rid of RG&E amid a wave of billing concerns and customer complaints.

Several people in the community who support a feasibility study chanted in the legislature chambers after the vote’s results were announced.

Community groups have been calling on county leaders to fund an independent investigation into replacing RG&E with a not-for-profit community-owned utility.

The City of Rochester had already pledged $500,000 to the study but needed the county to be on the same page before the funds could be used.

RG&E said it appreciates the legislature’s vote, while advocates for the study said legislators should have given the idea a chance.

“After Tuesday night’s vote, we have worked incredibly hard to improve customer service, reliability, and resiliency over the last year and a half,” RG&E Communications Manager Alexis Arnold stated. “This has all been a distraction, and now, more than 800 employees who work in Rochester are looking forward to continuing to focus on showing and proving to our customers they are our top priority.”

“We ought to have a fair opportunity to decide where our heat and power originate from. We were denied that option today by the Monroe County Legislature,” asserted Mohini Sharma, the organizing director of the neighborhood’s grassroots group Metro Justice. But we don’t have to keep allowing them to act in that manner. We can carry on the battle.”

Metro Justice said it’s exploring other levels of government to pursue a public utility study.