SCHOENEMAN CALLS FOR PERFORMANCE AUDIT OF ECWA BY NEW YORK STATE

 10th District candidate files formal letter to New York State Authorities Budget Office in wake of latest water main break

 ERIE COUNTY, NY – Today, Michelle Schoeneman, candidate for the Erie County Legislature’s 10th District, filed a letter with the New York State Authorities Budget Office (ABO) urging the State agency to conduct a formal performance audit of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) in light of the latest water main break that has left 100,000 Erie County residents with limited access to water.

“As a concerned citizen of Erie County, I ask that the New York State Authorities Budget Office conduct a performance audit of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) under Title 2 of New York’s Public Authorities law,” said Schoeneman in her letter to the ABO.

Despite its large, publicly funded budget and six figure salaried employees, the ECWA has failed to properly address the water infrastructure issues that have plagued the County and have led to the numerous water main issues over the past several years.

Schoeneman added, “The fact may be that the way in which we as a community decided the best way to deliver water to homes in 1950 is no longer the best way to deliver water in 2017. The problems may not simply be with who runs the ECWA but may require a larger public policy discussion about the utility of an authority at all.  However, without an outside examination by your agency we cannot have that conversation.”

For More Information: Please visit VoteSchoeneman.com

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August 14, 2017

State of New York
Authorities Budget Office
PO Box 2076
Albany, NY 12220-0076

RE: Performance Audit of Erie County Water Authority

To Whom it May Concern:

As a concerned citizen of Erie County, I ask that the New York State Authorities Budget Office conduct a performance audit of the Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) under Title 2 of New York’s Public Authorities law.

As you may know, we are experiencing another major water main break in Erie County that is impacting over 100,000 people in Western New York. This water main break is just another incident in a long line of examples where the ECWA has failed the public. Just over a year ago another water main break in Amherst left 200,000 residents with a limited water supply. Despite having a mostly publicly funded budget and being charged with providing the residents of the County with access to clean water, the ECWA has consistently skirted public oversight as reported by many news outlets over the past few years.

The fact may be that the way in which we as a community decided the best way to deliver water to homes in 1950 is no longer the best way to deliver water in 2017. The problems may not simply be with who runs the ECWA but may require a larger public policy discussion about the utility of an authority at all.  However, without an outside examination by your agency we cannot have that conversation.

I note that you conducted an Operational Review of the Water Authority of Great Neck North in 2014.  I do not know the nature of the problems that brought its operation to your attention, but certainly the ECWA’s consistent failure to deliver water to its customers cries out for review.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Sincerely,

 

Michelle Schoeneman