Thirsty?

The Appellate Division, First Department, yesterday agreed that water rates for 2016-17 should continue to be frozen for all, rather than increased for multifamily customers so that single family homeowners could get a credit. The Mayor’s plan for the homeowner credit at other ratepayer’s expense was arbitrary and capricious, according to the decision in Prometheus Realty vs. NYC Water Board.

The Mayor plans to spend $93 million more in tax dollars over the next five years for lawyers for tenants in Housing Court.

Meanwhile, the City Council, Wednesday, passed a package of bills intended to make it harder for the Police to evict tenants committing nuisances such as drug dealing. The Mayor is expected to sign them.

Another bill passed Wednesday would require building address numbers to be put on all public entrances to a building. If a building has addresses on two streets, the appropriate number for that street will be required. If the address is only on one street, a public entrance from the other street would need both the number and street name from the official entrance. The Mayor is expected to sign the bill which would take effect for existing buildings in one year.

State Department of Environmental Conservation inspectors are reportedly out enforcing new rules adopted more than a year ago that changed the definition of “underground storage tank” to a tank that “has ten

percent or more of its volume beneath the surface of the ground or is covered by materials.” This apparently includes many tanks previously thought to be above ground, so check with your oil company if you have any question.

Jamie Rubin, Commissioner of the State Division of Homes and Community Renewal, has been tapped by the Governor as the new Director of State Operations. A new DHCR Commissioner hasn’t been named yet.

State Senator Bill Perkins is resigning his seat after winning a special election for City Council, Tuesday, altering the Democrat-Republican balance in the State Senate at least through budget season.

The Court, this week, awarded apartment owners damages for the unconstitutional taking of their property by rent regulation. The Court was the European Court of Human Rights and the constitution was the Czech Republic’s.

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