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City of Tonawanda (population 15130)

Name of service/government operation: Water Treatment and Delivery

Form of sharing: Erie County Water Authority takeover of City of Tonawanda Water Treatment and Delivery System

Services affected: Water Treatment and Delivery

Year started: 2004

Partners: City of Tonawanda/Erie County Water Authority

Primary goal(s)/motivation(s): To provide a better service to City of Tonawanda residents without increasing the cost, as well as a significant cost avoidance of having to invest capital improvements to the Water Treatment Plant and delivery system

What planning process preceded the sharing? Evaluation of Capital Improvements that would need to be funded by the City of Tonawanda residents, also the fact that the Erie County Water Authority already maintained a Treatment Plant close to the City of Tonawanda that was operating at less than full capacity

What governance structures and/or agreements are required to maintain this agreement? Intermunicipal Agreement/Formal Sale of Assets of City of Tonawanda system to Erie County Water Authority, also a Public Referendum

Challenges: Convincing the residents that their "savings" is largely in the form of cost avoidance, and that their service is being provided to them by a much more competent, responsible, and financially stable entity with the resources and expertise that the City of Tonawanda did not have and could not maintain

Benefits: Cost avoidance, overall streamlining of cost of delivery and treatment, much more attention to hydrant maintenance and improved flow for fire protection, installation of up to date, accurate water meters for all customers, better attention to main breaks

Impact on budget: Elimination of an approximately $200,000 fund deficit

Impact on labor: Reduction of a work force of 12 employees through attrition

Impact on service: Improved and stabilized dramatically

Key contact: Joseph Hogenkamp, City Treasurer 716-695-8629