Alfonso Carney chairs water board meeting at which Hershel Weiss presented the following testimony:
“Hershel Weiss, President of Ashokan Water Services, Inc., which represents the owners of 8,500 buildings in NYC, who look to Ashokan for water conservation, bill monitoring and guidance through Water Board/DEP’s regulations.
- We object to the 2 items on today’s agenda. The NYC Water Board/DEP has done an excellent job of providing water and sewer service while keeping charges lower by sticking to its mission and only spending the money paid by its customers to actually provide and maintain water & sewer infrastructure etc, and by not diverting that money to anything outside its charter and purpose, such as pet causes of politicians. Think of the way the Port Authority builds skyscrapers with the toll money that is supposed to maintain bridges and tunnels which are now falling into disrepair while there is nothing left in the till to pay for their maintenance. If the Water Board is permitted to follow in the footsteps of such outfits and divert the money paid by customers for water/sewer use, soon the WB/DEP will just be another handy, cash-cow for politicians. The infrastructure will suffer, funds will dwindle, and charges will skyrocket because customers will not just be paying for water and sewer use, but also to support pork-barrel handouts to whomever it pleases our City fathers to hand them out to. We therefore strongly oppose the proposed giveaways on today’s agenda and demand the Water Board use any surplus monies—which are really easy enough to spend—on projects to provide water and sewer service to its customers.
- This brings me to a directly related matter. The storm-water fees the DEP charges parking lots were instituted as a ‘pilot-program’, meaning it was supposed to be a temporary experiment whereby the Water Board would study the benefits of such a program and its effects on storm-water conservation. A report with findings was supposed to be generated, from which would arise either a recommendation to maintain or modify the program subject to approval in the usual manner, or else the program would be dropped. Where is the report and what are the findings? Why is the program still in effect? If the DEP cannot support it with evidence from the experts who were supposed to monitor this study and get it approved at a hearing, it must be dropped.
- We also need clarification on the matter of compliance with MCP requirements. The DEP has not been enforcing the deadlines in effect under the Rate Schedule—we know it was the DEP’s intent last year to extend them, but the Court struck the proposed rate schedule and ordered the previous years’ to remain in effect. Under its terms, the grace period for Automatically Enrolled properties to install DEP approved meters and AMR devices, and/or the required, high efficiency fixtures, expired on June 30, 2016, and these properties were to have been converted to Attributed Consumption Charges or metered billing. Yet the DEP has not enforced this deadline, to our knowledge. This has left your customers confused as to what the requirements truly are, and we request you state what they are in an official memo.
- Likewise, there is no consistent rule as to whether an MCP applicant with a mixed use building is required to separately meter the commercial portions with a downstream, BP meter, or by splitting the main. The rate schedule does not specify which is required. The DEP has variously required the split or permitted the downstream BPs, and without any application for a variance.
On this matter, we again request you state what rule is in an official memo.”