The state audit of Newstead criticized that town for not keeping residents informed during a building project. Evans officials release some details about water project AFTER decisions are made. Since the conception of the water project, even freedom of information requests didn’t result in 100% of water project details being made public. Case In Point: Out of total project cost, how much was/will Wendel Engineers be paid?
After the turn over of the water system, the town will keep:
- All water department employees
- All equipment
- Inventory to make repairs
- About 200 water customers
- Billing clerk
- Billing computer and aging billing software
In short, expenses to water customers will decrease very little.
After the turn over of the water system, the water customers will:
- Pay 30¢ per 1,000 gallons of water surcharge to pay off the $16,000,000 in bonds
- Erie County Water Authority WILL NOT adjust bills for leaks as town now does.
- Wonder if county employees will fix problem (on weekends!) as fast as town employees did
- Lose $900,000 in profits from water sales
The approved 2013 Evans Budget shows:
$2,000,000 in water sales
$1,100,000 in water purchases
$900,000 in profit (surplus in government terms)
Town officials HAVE NOT made public an amended 2013 budget to reflect the turnover. Excluding the debt which water customers pay no mater who runs the water system, the water department is unique in government operations since it MAKES A PROFIT FOR WATER CUSTOMERS. No member of the Evans Town Board has a business administration/management background. At the 3-20-2013 town board meeting, they didn’t have any good answers to these questions.
Town officials claim that ECWA will reduce water rates to help offset the surcharge. Questions about rates billable to Evans water customers can be answered Tuesday (3-26).
The Town Hall opens for business at 8 AM (MTWTF) and closes at 4 PM. Stop in at 8 AM or on a Friday at 3:30 PM. Take a look for elected officials and department heads. Good Luck!
Turning over the water system to the ECWA is a way to reduce the demands for time from town officials. No cost analysis comparing keeping the water system VS turning it over to the ECWA has been done since 2006!!!
Town officials can’t even give water customers an answer to an important question.
Call town hall and ask way.