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South Buffalo supervisors consider abolishing authority

| Monday, March 20, 2017, 11:55 p.m.

A South Buffalo Township supervisor said he had no confidence in the township's municipal authority as he and other supervisors consider abolishing the authority.

It is unclear what impact, if any, such a change would have on water rates and service. However, the authority has about $500,000 in savings and accounts, according to authority manager Pete Massetto.

The charter for the authority, which serves about 480 customers with public water, expired in January 2014 and supervisors are not keen to reinstate the authority.

Last month, the supervisors asked the township solicitor to draw up two ordinances, one to dissolve the municipal authority and a second to form a new joint authority.

But supervisors Monday night shelved the ordinances, stating they needed more time to study the documents.

But the intent of Supervisor Joe Charlton was clear: He said that the expiration of the authority's charter was something that was “not easily missed.”

Charlton charged that the municipal authority put the township management and residents at risk financially and it affected insurance coverage.

“Every transaction (by the authority) can be voided because they don't exist under Pennsylvania law.”

Massetto said Charlton's allegations of poor performance by the authority were untrue. Massetto presented supervisors with documents that he said verified the authority does have insurance.

Massetto said since the authority doesn't have debt and new projects in progress, it doesn't have reason to revisit the authority's charter date, he said. Also, municipal reports with the charter date were prepared by an auditor.

Municipal board members Earl Kiffer and Terry VanDyke declined to comment because of legalities, they said. A call to board member Kay Covone was not immediately returned Monday night.

The supervisors are expected to revisit the issue during the April 17 meeting.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

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