Tompkins, Scott Seek To Wrest Water Board Control From Albany

Ezra Scott

Ezra Scott

In addition to calling for the termination of Niagara Falls Water Board Executive Director Paul Drof, city Councilman Ken Tompkins has introduced a resolution with Councilman Ezra Scott asking that all five members of the Water Board by approved by the mayor and the Council, so as to regain city control of the municipal water supply and wastewater treatment facilities.

Currently, the governor, state Senate and Assembly name three of the board’s five members, with the Council and the mayor appointing the other two.

Tompkins ire was raised last week when state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli revealed the results of an audit that showed the board to have $6.3 million squirreled away in a bank account.

In the resulting controversy, it became apparent that not all the board members were aware of the surplus.

“It is time for Niagara Falls to return the Water Board to people who can efficiently and effectively manage it for the good of this city’s people,” Tompkins said.

In his resolution, Tompkins and Scott call upon state Sen. Robert Ortt and Assemblyman John Ceretto to introduce legislation that would amend the state Public Authorities Law in such a way that would allow the mayor and the Council to appoint all five mem-bers to the board.

“How do you not know that you have over $6 million dollars? This is simply gross in-competence,” said Tompkins. “To think that our residents on 72nd Street went without water for two winters and were forced to pay exuberant amounts of money to repair their homes’ connections to the water main, when the money for infra-structure repairs could have been available, is simply beyond in-excusable.”

The Water Board was created in 2002 during the administration of Mayor Irene Elia. On the Council, the most enthusiastic sup-porter of the board idea was Paul Dyster, who now serves as mayor.


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