FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: State and County Officials Stand United in Supporting Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant’s Refusal to Fill Newspaper’s FOIL Request.


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

Dennis J. Sant
Putnam County Clerk
(845) 808-1140

January 2, 2013

State and County Officials Stand United in Supporting Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant’s Refusal to Fill Newspaper’s FOIL Request.

Odell: “Journal News exposure is ‘reckless’ and puts all citizens at risk.”

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, state Sen. Gregory Ball, Assemblyman Steve Katz, and several additional county officials will accompany Putnam County Clerk Dennis J. Sant at a 12 noon press conference held in the upstairs courtroom of the Historic County Courthouse, 44 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY on Thursday, January 3. The press conference will be held to discuss Sant’s refusal to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request issued by The Journal News last month.

On Dec. 23, The Journal News published an interactive map on its online news outlet,, which identified the names and addresses of people in Westchester and Rockland counties who legally possess pistol permits.

Sant, who has served in the County Clerk’s Office since 1978, refused to comply with the newspaper’s FOIL request seeking the same information on Putnam gun permit holders. Sant cited the safety of Putnam’s citizens as his reason for not complying.

“Our world today is far different than it was only a few years ago. Computers, social media, Google maps – much of our lives can easily be exposed and made available whether we want it to be or not,” said Sant. “Today you can take what The Journal News put into print, go on Google Earth and virtually be sitting on the front porch of a house reading the license plate of a car parked in the driveway. This county clerk refuses to put law abiding citizens in harm’s way.”

Odell said she is as adamant in her support for Sant as she is that the issue at hand, the release of pistol permit holders’ names and addresses, has nothing to do with gun control or the recent shooting tragedy in Newtown, CT.

“We simply cannot stand by and allow this to happen,” Odell said. “Safeguarding our citizens is of the utmost importance right now. The FOIL request by the Journal News was reckless as it puts every Putnam family at risk: people with legally registered guns as well as those who have chosen not to have a weapon in their house.”

Sen. Gregory Ball said he is proud to stand with those who defend Sant’s actions.

“I’m proud to stand with Putnam County and proud that Putnam won’t be releasing its pistol permit records. I thank God that Putnam County has a clerk with the guts to stand up and draw the line. This is clearly a violation of privacy, and needs to be corrected immediately,” said Ball. “Publishing this information on a website provides criminals with a map of where they can steal firearms from lawful owners for later use in the commission of crimes. We have victims of domestic violence, retired cops with families and good decent, law abiding people, all being publicly exposed. It is time for Putnam to draw a line in the sand and say, ‘Enough is enough.’”

Assemblyman Steve Katz said he would always defend an individual’s right to privacy.

“We’re standing together in a bi-partisan manner to protect the rights of privacy and to protect both the people whose names are on that list and the names of the people who are not on that list,” he said.

Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy said innocent people may find they are targets of a criminal element.

“Just because the information may be public does not necessarily mean it is prudent to allow that information to get into the hands of certain individuals, those of a criminal element who would use that information to further victimize people here in Putnam County,” said Levy. “The paper should be very concerned about who is reviewing this information and how they are going to use it to potentially commit further crimes.”

Legislator Richard Othmer of Kent, a gun owner, will also be present.

“As a Putnam County Legislator and a gun owner, I am in full support of Dennis Sant. I really believe it is an invasion of privacy and [publication of the list] is going to target certain people,” Othmer said.

Citing an example of the risks people face should the gun permit list requested by The Journal News be made public, Sant spoke of the more than 200 phone calls his office has received following the publication of Westchester and Rockland gun permit holders’ names and addresses in the Dec. 24th print edition of The Journal News. Sant said the greater majority have been from people who have had to have an Order of Protection issued against other individuals and now own a gun to protect themselves from those who have abused them in the past and may still wish to cause them harm.

“Some of these individuals, many of them women, are basically in hiding,” said Sant.

1-3-2013 County Executive MaryEllen Odell Press Conference

State and County Officials Stand United in Supporting Putnam County Clerk Dennis Sant’s Refusal to Fill Newspaper’s FOIL Request. January 3, 2013 – 9:42 am




County Executive MaryEllen Odell to Cut Ribbon on Reconstructed Parking Deck


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

December 18, 2012

County Executive MaryEllen Odell to Cut Ribbon on Reconstructed Parking Deck

Visitors to Putnam’s County Office Building in Carmel, especially members of the press coming to cover events, will have an easier time parking once the ribbon is cut re-opening the upper portion of the layered parking deck located behind the 40 Gleneida Avenue building.

Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will do the honors on Thursday, Dec. 20 at 10:00 a.m. and the media is cordially invited to inspect the approximately 70 new visitor and employee parking spaces.

The project included the demolition and replacement of 600 cubic yards of reinforced concrete for the 22,400 square-foot slab using a high performance mix design. It was initiated once it was found that the reinforcing steel and decking for the original structure showed signs of severe corrosion.

Commissioner of Highways Fred Pena said the biggest obstacle in the approximately $600,000 project was preparing the edges of the original concrete slab to blend with and meet those of the newly constructed portion. Pena will accompany the County Executive as she cuts the ribbon.

“The existing concrete slab was saw cut one foot from the inside face of the parapet walls,” said Pena, “and demolition was performed using robotic jack hammers.”

Auditing Dept. clerk Eileen Barrett’s 3rd floor office overlooks the construction site. “No one is going to miss the sound of those jack hammers,” she said as she pointed out the new rooftop parking spaces from her office window.

Decking and shear studs were removed and replaced as needed and a new epoxy coated rebar was spliced prior to concrete placement. The new concrete was then cured using a heating system and insulating blankets for protection against cold weather. Finally, a penetrating sealer was applied for additional protection.

Existing lights in the lower parking area were removed and replace with energy efficient L.E.D. fixtures.

General contractor for the project is McNamee Construction Corp. Electrical contractor is HVS Electrical Construction Services. Maser Consulting provided engineering design and construction inspection.

Disabled Navy Veteran Shows County Executive Odell His ‘New’ Wheels


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

Disabled Navy Veteran Shows County Executive Odell His ‘New’ Wheels

A disabled Navy Veteran who resides in Carmel was recently presented with the keys to a ‘new’ car through the efforts of several fellow veterans. Patrick Brady, who grew up in Brewster and now lives in the Putnam County Veterans Home on Drewville Road in Carmel, received the keys to a totally refurbished 2005 Chevrolet Impala at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 at the VFW Post 4927 in Centereach, NY.

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veterans and tea  pot 001



“Here is a young man who has given so much to his country and who now is receiving, through the efforts of his fellow Putnam veterans and the Vehicles for Veterans program, the priceless gift of independence,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell as she congratulated Brady. “Moments like these are what make the Season of Giving truly memorable,” she said.

Vehicles for Veterans is an offshoot of the National Auto Body Council (NABC)’s Recycled Rides program where damaged vehicles are refurbished through the donated time and services of auto body shops, insurers, paint suppliers and part vendors. It was started by Suffolk County resident and VFW Post 4927 member Dennis Sullivan who started networking ed with local businesses in March of 2010.

Last September, when Brewster VFW 672 life member Art Hanley heard Brady comment about wanting a car of his own some day, he put the wheels in motion and contacted Putnam’s Director of Veterans Affairs Karl Rohde. In turn, Rohde called his friend Sullivan who said there were nine available vehicles in Suffolk County. All Brady had to do was fill out an application form and explain in an essay how having a car would improve his quality of life.

A panel of judges selected Brady as one of the nine recipients and Hanley drove him to Long Island to fill out the necessary paperwork on Oct. 27. The nine vehicles would be turned over to their new owners at a ceremony scheduled for Nov. 10.

Then Superstorm Sandy struck. The ceremony was cancelled and Brady was left waiting to hear when he would receive his car.

Last week, he was notified that Dec. 15 was the big day.

Several service organizations added to the Season of Giving by donating gasoline gift cards to Brady as well.

County Executive MaryEllen Odell on Deaths of Four Young Men in Putnam


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

County Executive MaryEllen Odell on Deaths of Four Young Men in Putnam:

Our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by the tragic deaths of four young men in Putnam County suspected of having died from drug overdoses over the last few days. While I cannot comment on the continuing investigation by local law enforcement and medical authorities, we do know from past experience that drug overdoses are often accidental and can occur at any time.

We have many resources in Putnam County for individuals and families who want to get help in preventing substance abuse as well as resources for those who are chemically dependent. Everyone, especially Putnam’s parents, should be aware of the dangers of prescription pill abuse among young people. Evident warning signs of possible chemical dependency in our youngsters include failing in school, becoming socially withdrawn, and changes in behavior.

Putnam’s Crisis Hotline (225-1222) is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Operated by United Way’s 2-1-1 program, it can connect those in need of treatment with three local chemical dependency treatment agencies: Putnam Family and Community Services, 1808 Brewster Avenue in Carmel (845) 225-2700; Naura Slavinsky at Arms Acres on Seminary Hill Road in Carmel (845) 225-3400; and St. Christopher’s Inn at Graymoor on Route 9 in Garrison (800) 424-0027.

In addition our Communities That Care Coalition ( CTC) provides community education and information regarding alcohol and substance abuse and is a wonderful resource for children and families. CTC is located at 2 Church St. in Carmel. (845) 225- 4646.

Bells for Peace to Ring in Putnam’s New Year

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MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001
December 4, 2012

Bells for Peace to Ring in Putnam’s New Year

“The idea is to support the Wounded Warrior Project, reach out to veterans and non-veterans alike across Putnam and have everyone united in a gesture of peace as they ring in 2013,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

At precisely midnight on December 31, the ringing of 100 Bells for Peace will join the chorus of church bells as they ring out across Putnam County welcoming in the New Year.

“Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,       

The flying cloud, the frosty light;

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.”


Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

                                Alfred, Lord Tennyson

“The idea is to support the Wounded Warrior Project, reach out to veterans and non-veterans alike across Putnam and have everyone united in a gesture of peace as they ring in 2013,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell.

The bells, each engraved with the words “Bells for Peace 2013” were procured by Director of Tourism Libby Pataki in the hope of raising donations for the Project. Pataki will distribute bells before year’s end to various veterans’ organizations throughout Putnam.

“Our veterans are our true ambassadors for peace,” Pataki said. “Their service to our country can never be repaid but it certainly can be celebrated and honored. The bells are but a reminder that peace is uppermost in our minds, a wish we hope to ring in with the New Year as we support the Wounded Warrior Project.”

Bells for Peace may be obtained for a small donation at the Tourism Office on the 3rd Floor of the Putnam County Office Building, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Carmel, NY. To reserve a bell, contact Libby Pataki at

Putnam County Bicentennial Veterans Day & Closing of the Time Capsule 2013


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Putnam County has been declared eligible for individual assistance


November 13, 2012

MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive

845 808-1001

joining Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Queens and Westchester Counties.  This designation will allow residents to seek assistance from FEMA for losses that may have sustained during Hurricane Sandy.  The County is now working with local municipalities and New York State to secure Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) in Putnam County.

The role of a DRC is to allow residents to come in and speak face to face with FEMA representatives regarding numerous issues:


  • Review and clarification regarding any correspondence residents may have received from FEMA
  • Long term and short term housing assistance questions
  • SBA Program opportunities
  • Status of FEMA applications
  • General guidance questions

Residents needing assistance are encouraged to apply online at but they can also apply in person at the DRC.

“While we are truly grateful that no lives were lost during this historic storm, we are seeing that many of our residents have sustained tremendous personal property damage.  Having this designation will allow individual homeowners to apply for the federal assistance dollars to begin their recovery.”


MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
Nov. 7, 2012


“An extraordinary storm brought out the best in this county and I want to thank ‘Team Putnam,’ those tireless and dedicated members of the Command Staff under Deputy County Executive Bruce Walker, who worked above and beyond to guide us through Hurricane Sandy,” said County Executive, MaryEllen Odell. “Deputy County Executive, Bruce  J. Walker, Sgt. Frank Christian and Tom Velotti of the Sheriff’s Department, Health Department Commissioner Dr. Allan Beals and Marianne Burdick, Director of Emergency Management Tom Lannon, Acting Commissioner of Emergency Service Adam Stiebeling, Pat Sheehy, Director of the Office for the Aging, Adrienne Spadaccini,  Risk Manager, all our municipal leaders, and our American Red Cross volunteers, all of whom worked  long hours day and night to get us through the worst storm this county has ever seen.”  

In her wake, Hurricane Sandy left 90 percent of Putnam residents, businesses and government offices without power and more than 200 roads closed due to the downing of utility poles and trees. Tidal flooding occurred and left portions of downtown Cold Spring and Garrison under several feet of water. 

“Putnam’s Emergency Service personnel were called upon en masse and faced an enormous task,” said Odell.

However, each day saw progress being made and after a week of tireless efforts by so many, Odell announced on Monday, Nov. 5, that all Putnam County offices were open and would continue to operate during regular business hours.

By Tuesday, with the concentrated efforts of Board of Elections Commissioners Anthony Scannipiecco and Robert Bennett and their staff, all of Putnam’s polling places were open and functioning in time for Election Day voters.

“The road to recovery is well under way thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Putnam’s dedicated, selfless and capable employees,” said Odell.

Putnam Valley Highway Superintendent Larry Cobb was most appreciative of the combined efforts of numerous county and state departments during the aftermath of Sandy. In a statement released on Tuesday, Cobb thanked his town and the county highway departments as well as the County Executive’s office, the Emergency Management team, the Sheriff’s Department and the New York State Police, NYSEG crews and Lewis Tree Service for [their] “great co-operation and real time communication all throughout the storm.”  

Announcing that 70 percent of the damage created by Hurricane Sandy in his town has been removed or repaired, Cobb said he is now teaming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (F.E.M.A.) representatives to recoup funding for the clean-up.

Odell and her Emergency Management team also met with FEMA officials on Tuesday. “Putnam County brought FEMA in to work with our municipalities and villages as well as our residents in their clean-up or reconstruction,” she said.  

A preliminary damage assessment for public and individual assistance is expected to be conducted on Wednesday, Nov. 7. Two teams consisting of personnel from FEMA, the State and County offices of Emergency Management, and other officials will review damage to each town and village.

 “The Emergency Operations Center remains open and staffed to further assist residents still affected by Hurricane Sandy,” said Odell late Tuesday. “We are here and ready to assist the storm weary residents of Putnam County,” said Odell.

Officials expect that by Wednesday, the remaining 38 percent of Putnam residents still without power will have it restored.

Putnam County Officials Urge County Residents To Continue To Monitor The Arrival Of A Dangerous Storm With High Winds

Issued By: Putnam County Emergency Management

Headline: UPDATE: Putnam County Officials Urge County Residents To Continue To Monitor The Arrival Of A Dangerous Storm With High Winds

This morning, in preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, MaryEllen Odell, Putnam County Executive, along with County Emergency Response Officials participated in a National Weather Service briefing. Following is an overview of the current and predicted conditions.

Hurricane Sandy continues its slow path towards our region and as it does, there have been several changes. Over the last 24 hours the center of the storm continues to gain strength and organization. As it slowly gains strength it would appear that it is going to make landfall slightly north of the original prediction, now central New Jersey.

For our area the two major concerns are high wind speeds and tidal surges along the Hudson River. While rain remains a factor, the National Weather Service believes we will not see the severe impacts from water as we did in Irene. The winds for our area will begin to pick up in intensity at approximately 4:00 AM Monday October 29, 2012 reaching its peak Monday at 8:00 PM. Winds, although diminishing, will stay with us through mid-day Thursday.

Total rainfall for this event is 2″ – 6″ with localized rain bands bringing in 1″ 2″ per hour.

Sunday (10/28/12) 8:00 PM 14 MPH
Monday (10/29/12) 8:00 AM 28 MPH Gusts to 44 MPH
Monday (10/29/12) 8:00 PM 41 MPH Gusts to 62 MPH
Tuesday (10/30/12) 8:00 AM 32 MPH Gusts to 49 MPH
Tuesday (10/30/12) 8:00 PM 24 MPH Gusts to 36 MPH
Wednesday (10/31/12) 8:00 AM 11 MPH Gusts to 25 MPH
Wednesday (10/31/12) 8:00 PM 7 MPH

Putnam’s Hudson River communities need to prepare for a higher than normal tidal surge. Due to atmospheric conditions and an increasing East Fetch (sustaining winds and atmospheric pressure that do not allow normal drainage of previous high tides) it is predicted that the tidal surge will be 2’ – 4’ over the normal high tide with the National Weather Service predicting closer to the 4’ mark. In addition the longer storm duration will result in up to 3 higher than normal tidal cycles.

Temperatures will remain slightly above seasonal at the onset, but as the storm mixes with a cold front, temperatures will begin to descend into slightly lower than seasonal. By Wednesday we will see temperatures of 50 F during the day and 40 F overnight. There are no below freezing temperatures predicted.

We should be prepared for localized flooding conditions as the remaining leaf cover is removed from trees. This can create blockage for normal drainage paths such as small streams.

We advise all residents and visitors to Putnam County to prepare now.


Charge your cell phone and have a car charger available.

Have a battery powered radio and flashlights as well as extra batteries on hand.

Make sure you have enough medications (prescriptions and over the counter) on hand for all family members for at least one week.

Inspect your house and surrounding areas for loose items, secure anything that can move in high winds. Go to for more storm preparation tips.

In addition, take time now to review your Personal Storm Emergency Plan and:

Have an Emergency GO Kit (everything you need if you have to leave your house)

Establish a Family Communication Plan (how will you communicate with your family during and after the event?)
Know your surroundings; is your property flood prone? Take protective action now!
If you have a generator, be sure it has been installed by a qualified electrician. You MUST have a transfer switch installed to prevent dangerous electricity from injuring utility crews as they repair damaged lines

For more information on storm preparation go to

To track the storm or for up to date weather information go to or (the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center)

To report an outage or to review current outages for NYSEG go to

To report an outage or to review current outages for Central Hudson go to

Stay informed before, during and after the event by signing up for NY-Alert at By being a NY-Alert subscriber you can receive weather advisories, road closure information and local updates from the County and your local municipality by phone, fax, email or text message, all at no charge!

NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy


October 26, 2012

NYSEG and RG&E Emergency Planners Preparing for

Possible Effects of Hurricane Sandy

>> NYSEG and RG&E urge customers to stay away from downed power lines – even lines that appear “dead” can be deadly. NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131 to report downed power lines or other hazardous situations; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> Emergency generators can be dangerous. Carefully read, understand and follow manufacturer’s instructions when operating an emergency generator. Never run emergency generators indoors; operate them only outdoors in well-ventilated areas, away from windows and doors, and never in a garage.

>> NYSEG and RG&E remind customers to stay out of flooded basements because energized wiring or outlets below the water line may pose a hazard. Natural gas service in a flooded basement may also pose a danger. If a basement or home is in danger of flooding, customers should contact their utilities to turn off electricity and/or natural gas service.

>> For electricity emergencies and to report power interruptions, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1131; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1701.

>> For natural gas emergencies and to report suspected natural gas odors, NYSEG customers should call 1.800.572.1121; RG&E customers should call 1.800.743.1702.

Rochester, NYNYSEG and RG&E emergency planners are closely monitoring weather forecasts and preparing for the possible effects of Hurricane Sandy. Depending on the exact track of the storm, portions of the NYSEG and RG&E service areas could experience considerable wind and significant rainfall early next week. NYSEG and RG&E are concerned with the potential impact of falling limbs and trees on power lines and also with possible flooding that could affect both electricity and natural gas facilities.

NYSEG and RG&E front line and support personnel across the state are on heightened alert, the companies’ customer relations centers are prepared and materials are on hand to repair any damage to the companies’ energy delivery systems.

NYSEG and RG&E offer customers the following storm tips:

Before a storm strikes

–     Anyone who uses life-sustaining equipment that operates on electricity should contact their   utility right away (NYSEG: 1.800.572.1111; RG&E: 1.800.743.2110) right away. Customers   may be enrolled in a critical customer program or provided specific advice on how to prepare          for power interruptions.

–       Keep flashlights, a battery-powered radio or TV and fresh batteries handy.

–       Have at least one telephone that is not dependent on electricity. (Cordless phones won’t work during a power interruption.)

–       Keep a supply of non-perishable food and bottled water on hand.

–       Make sure cell phone batteries are fully charged.

During a power interruption

–       Contact neighbors to see if their power is off. A loss of power may be the result of a blown fuse or a tripped circuit breaker.

–       To report a power interruption, contact NYSEG at 1.800.572.1131; RG&E at 1.800.743.1701. Our telephone systems let callers report the problem, help our crews respond quickly and efficiently, and provide customers with power interruption updates. Because many people may be trying to reach us during a power interruption, phone lines may be busy. Anyone who has access to a working computer during a power interruption can also report the interruption online at or

–       Listen to a battery-powered radio for weather and power restoration updates.

–       Turn off major appliances (electric water heaters, refrigerators and freezers) and sensitive electronic equipment (TVs, VCRs, DVD players, computers, audio equipment) to prevent overloading and possible damage when power is restored. Turning off this equipment may mean unplugging it, turning off a circuit breaker or removing a fuse for the circuit that provides power to this equipment. Leave one light switch “on” to know when power has been restored.

–       Don’t use a natural gas or propane range to heat your home.

–       Never use outdoor grills or stoves inside.

–       Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible. Most food will last 24 hours if you minimize the opening of refrigerator and freezer doors.

After your power is restored

–       If a basement or home was flooded, customers should have an electrician check the home and have a plumbing and heating contractor check natural gas appliances before contacting NYSEG or RG&E to have services turned on.

–       Turn on appliances and sensitive electronic equipment one at a time to avoid overloading circuits.

–       Replenish emergency supplies used during the storm.

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About NYSEG, RG&E and Iberdrola USA: NYSEG and RG&E are subsidiaries of Iberdrola USA. NYSEG serves 878,000 electricity customers and 261,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York. RG&E serves 367,000 electricity customers and 303,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region centered on the City of Rochester. Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company with more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. We are a team of dedicated individuals working as one to deliver value to our customers, employees and shareholders. By providing outstanding customer service and exceptional reliability, while holding safety and the environment in high regard, we aspire to be a world-class energy company. For more information, visit, and

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