ECWA approves 2020 budget

Erie County

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The Erie County Water Authority has approved its 2020 budget.

The budget includes $50.2 million for upgrades to system-wide infrastructure. $41.5 million was spent on system infrastructure in 2019.

Major projects for 2020 include the following:

  • $29.9 million for new water transmission and distribution mains throughout ECWA’s system
  • $7.2 million to replace the North Ball Storage Tank in Amherst, which supplies ECWA’s northern and eastern service territory
  • $2.3 million for new remote radio read residential water meters
  • $1.7 million for upgrades at Sturgeon Point and Van De Water Treatment Plants
  • $750,000 in new technology and testing instrumentation for the water quality laboratory

The upgrades are part of a five-year, $236 million infrastructure investment plan.

Overall, this budget will increase the commodity water rate seven cents per 1,000 gallons.

“This is a very fiscally sound budget with a minor rate increase that remains directly in line with our financial model and our professional rate consultant’s projections,” ECWA Chairman Jerome Schad said. “Our rate structure fairly and equitably distributes fixed operational and infrastructure costs among ECWA’s customer classifications and provides a continual revenue source for the most significant infrastructure investment program in ECWA history.”

Starting January 1, customers will pay $3.36 per 1,000 gallons, which means $4.90 more per year for the average customer who uses 70,000 gallons of water each year.

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