Spoil-sports: Con Ed coughs up dough

The Brooklyn Paper
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After eight months of battling Con Edison for damages stemming from a 24-hour power outage last summer, the Park Slope Food Co-op received a check last week.

But while the peace-loving Union Street institution is happy to stop fighting the utility giant, Co-op General Manager Joe Holtz said the $7,000 check was simply not enough to cover losses from the July 17 blackout.

“We had to throw away a good amount of the fresh cream cheese, especially the kind with no vegetable gum,” he said.

The Co-op took a bigger hit than other grocery stores, Holtz said, because preservative-free organic offerings dominate the store’s extensive cheese section.

The $7,000 payback was the maximum payout for businesses that lost perishable merchandise in the outage. The then-brand-new bar Union Hall and the nearby restaurant El Viejo Yayo on Fifth Avenue also suffered during the blackout. But while the Co-op received the maximum $7,000 payment, the Mexican restaurant received only $5,401, according to manager Jerry Diaz.

He said the utility giant had ignored his claims until Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) got involved.

“It is important for businesses to feel that they can count on the basic infrastructure of the city,” the councilman said, adding that he was pleased overall with the power provider’s paybacks.

Joy Faber, a spokeswoman for Con Edison, said the utility is seeking to increase the compensation maximum to $9,000. “Con Edison is the only utility in the state that reimburses its customers for losses of power … that last more than 12 hours,” she said.

Updated 4:28 pm, July 9, 2018
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