In an effort to keep the Water Board and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) accountable to the hardworking families of Queens, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) called on the New York City Comptroller John Liu asking for an audit to be done of the New York City DEP and the New York City Water Board.
The Water Board manages the collection of water fees and sets rates, and the city’s DEP is responsible for the physical maintenance and operation of the system. Therefore, an audit of both parties is needed to accurately track how the public money is being used, Assemblyman Goldfeder noted.
“Our water rates – which are determined by a select few – have continued to drastically climb year after year for hardworking Queens families,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “What little transparency is offered now is not enough. Our families deserve to know where their money is going and if it is being spent wisely.”
This year, the water board voted to increase water rates by 7 percent, resulting in a 78 percent increase in the cost of water since 2005. An audit would easily answer the question of where the money is going, Assemblyman Goldfeder added.
“The need for an audit is clear,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “There needs to be accountability for adding yet another excessive fee on hardworking middle-class families. Our families cannot afford a 78 percent increase on anything, let alone a basic necessity.”
The call for the audit continues the efforts of Goldfeder to keep New York City water rates reasonable. This year, Assemblyman Goldfeder introduced a bill to keep water rates low for everyone in New York City by capping rate increases to no more than 4 percent each year (A.10032). He also sponsored legislation to change the composition of the NYC Water Board to make it more effective for taxpayers (A.3725-A).