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Lynbrook officials announce that National Grid will reimburse residents, business owners impacted by moratorium

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In the aftermath of a controversial gas moratorium that impacted new businesses and residents from receiving natural-gas hookups from National Grid, the utility is reimbursing its customers who were impacted.

“They’re going to give you a $200 bill credit for any inconvenience you might have received,” Mayor Alan Beach said at the village’s Feb. 3 meeting. “It’s better than nothing.”

Beach noted that because it has been a mild winter, National Grid decided to give residents affected by its moratorium a $200 credit on their bill. The credit will be automatically given to any resident or business owner who asked for service and did not receive it between May 15 and Oct. 11.

The moratorium came as a result of an impasse between National Grid, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and New York and New Jersey elected officials over a rejected $1 billion, 24-mile gas supply pipeline. Some 2,400 applications for new gas hookups were denied on Long Island during the moratorium, including several local businesses in Lynbrook.

Beach and the village board hosted a rally in August opposing National Grid’s moratorium. Several elected officials, business owners and Chamber of Commerce members spoke about the impact that the lack of gas hookups had on the downtown.

Dominic Natoli, who owns the Il Pozzo Wine Bar & Kitchen on Atlantic Avenue, said at the August rally that the moratorium nearly prevented his business from opening. He added that he was worried about heating the restaurant during the winter, and that he and his partners made a significant investment in Lynbrook with the anticipation of finding success, but they worried during the standoff that they might struggle.

“We’re on the cusp right now of having enough gas for our kitchen,” Natoli said at the time. “Let’s stop this catfight and come to a reasonable solution for everybody, and we can see Lynbrook succeed with what we’re trying to do here.”

In November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the utility an ultimatum, threatening to revoke the company’s operating license if it failed to fix its supply issue. Weeks later, National Grid lifted the moratorium.