Well-managed Murray water system should be envy of other communities

Posted 21 March 2016 at 12:00 am


A political hopeful in the Town of Murray has recently charged that the Town has “broken its agreement on the water districts and violated Local Finance Law.” In addition, this political neophyte states the “Town has overtaxed it’s water district residents for years.” Perhaps the true facts on the funding of water districts need to be explored.

While it’s always important to ask questions to ensure that taxpayer dollars are collected and spent properly, it’s even more important to ask the right questions!

For instance:

If the fire department puts out a fire at your house, who pays for the water? If a break in the waterline causes hundreds or thousands of gallons of water to escape the service, who pays for the water? Who pays for the materials and labor to repair a broken water line? Who pays for the testing that each water line must undergo on a regular basis? Who pays for the waterline flushing that must be done on a regular basis?

In addition, the Town of Murray buys all of its water from a variety of sources. Did you know that when these sources increase water rates to Murray, the Town often absorbs these increases without passing the additional costs along to the local water user? The money to pay for all of these costs comes from a reserve fund that it built into each individual water district for the sole purpose of fire protection, maintenance and other unexpected expenditures.

This same political apprentice often states that the Town of Murray should compare itself to other towns in the county in order to judge the efficiency and prudent spending procedures in Murray.

Well, when you compare Murray with a couple of neighboring towns this is what you find. First, one town is exploring the idea of turning over it’s water district to Monroe County Water Authority as a way to keep the financial strain off the town. They are even exploring the possibility of imposing a daily meter charge as a way to build a water maintenance fund.

In a different neighboring town, they have struggled with the loss of 60 million gallons of water at a cost of $170,000 over a 4-year period of time. That’s 19 percent of their total water usage! While we understand the plight of these neighboring towns, when you compare, we’re glad we live in Murray!

Each year the water districts in the town under go intense scrutiny by independent auditors, Rural Development and NYS Comptrollers office. To quote one of these high-ranking officials, “all of the Murray water districts are fine, and in fact, we wish that all the water districts in the Western New York area were run as well as Murray’s”! As Board members, we trust the word of these experts over individuals who are only interested in their own political aspirations.

In the end, accusations of overcharging in the Town of Murray are “All Washed UP”!

John Morriss – Supervisor

Kathy Case – Councilwoman
Lloyd Christ – Councilman

Ed Bower – Councilman
Paul Hendel – Councilman