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ECWA mergers to pay debt causes WNY water bill increase

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July 19
3:21 AM 2013

Mergers with Erie County Water Authority (ECWA) were mostly done to pay off debt. These debts were mostly caused by the localities' mismanagement. Now, however, these ECWA mergers were causing water bills in the Western New York (WNY) to increase.

"Unfortunately, the people who don't use as much water, they're probably going to feel this the most," said Keith Dash, the supervisor of the Town of Evans. The increase will be most felt by a certain demographic. These include the elderly, single individuals, and new families.

The following areas in WNY already gave full control over to ECWA in 1999: Alden, Evan, Blasdell, Hamburg, Concord, Lancaster, Depew, Clarence, City of Tonawanda, and parts of Orchard Park. The Village of Williamsville will be making an official transition to ECWA soon. Two other localities were also thinking of doing the same.

In Blasdell and the Town of Evans, an audit revealed these towns were getting caught up in too much debt. The ECWA charges a surcharge that will pay off these debts.

"It's going to take some time, but over time, as that debt starts to get paid off, that payment is going to start to drop," said Blasdell Mayor Michael Petrie.

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