County Executive Candidate Proposes Creation Of Water District

David Fried said forming a Rockland County water district would provide greater local control over water and potentially save money.


Rockland County executive candidate and former Spring Valley Justice David Fried thinks the creation of a water district could help protect water within the county’s boundaries and help with Rockland’s fiscal crisis.

“It is time for county government to protect our water and our wallets,” said Fried. “Whether today on desalination or tomorrow on future water questions, Rockland will always face powerful interests far beyond its borders. We need the legal authority to stand up, defend our community’s resources, and have effective influence.” 

In a statement released Monday, the Democratic candidate said Rockland lacks the authority make its own decisions about its water. He said those actions are now outside the county and typically in the hands of the New York State Public Service Commission and the Department of Environmental Conservation, which advise the county on the environmental impacts of projects.

“The waters of New York belong to the people and are held in trust for us by the government,” Fried stated.  “United Water owns reservoirs, pipes, and pumps, but they do not own the water.” 

Fried said if he were elected, he would appoint a panel to explore why Rockland does not have a water district.  He said representatives from the Rockland Water Coalition, Riverkeeper and Sierra Club would be invited to participate. Additionally, he called upon current County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef to participate in upcoming water contract negotiations.

“Next September, the water-sharing contract with Bergen County is up for renewal,” said Fried.  “Respected environmental leaders have said that United Water sends more water to Bergen than contracted, contributing to the water shortage United Water claims as a justification for desalination.” 

Fried said action must be taken if United Water is found to be sending more supply to Bergen County than permitted. 

“Severe penalties must be imposed for illegal water delivery to Bergen,” he said. 

Fried reiterated his opposition to United Water’s desalination plant proposal because he believes incomplete data was used and voiced his support for Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee's efforts to reopen the case. 

Fried said he would consolidate all county water functions into one office including the Health Department’s Division of Environmental Health, Drainage Agency, Water Supply Bureau, Water Quality Management, Water Board, and Soil & Water Conservation District to bring greater efficiencies.

“These actions will sustain our community, defend what is rightfully ours, and help repair the County’s financial crisis,” concluded Fried.

There are three other candidates seeking the office. The other Democrats for county executive are Legislator Ilan Schoenberger and Suffern Mayor Dagan Lacorte. Legislator Ed Day is the Republican candidate.



Watchdog February 27, 2013 at 03:51 AM
MORE DEBT....MORE TAXES...WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FROM THIS JUNIOR CAREER POLITICIAN " While the powers and responsibilities of a specific water district are determined when it is created, water districts are generally empowered to: Incur Debt: Most districts can issue bonds and other forms of debt. If that debt is to be secured by tax revenues, voters in the district must approve the plan. In most cases, bonds secured in this manner must also be approved by the TNRCC. Levy Taxes: If voters approve unlimited tax bonds, a debt service tax to pay the bonds is also approved. Each year, the water district board is obligated to levy a property tax adequate to cover the debt. This tax is levied on all property in the district based on appraised value, regardless of services received"
Andrew Wiley February 27, 2013 at 04:22 AM
I understand that county government is broken and not transparent and that we will continue to pay for their mistakes. Again the idea to create the district is one that the taxpayers may want. Can we reduce the costs of service and taxes in Rockland. I believe we can. I would appreciate proposals to lower the costs of government and maintain essential services. The budget deficit will not be fixed by bonding 100 million.
Watchdog February 27, 2013 at 05:20 AM
Name one politican that has lowered the cost of anything in Rockland County. How do you expect to pay for the cost of acquisition it except for MORE BONDING OR HIGHER TAXES? Do you think these idiots that BANKRUPTED THE COUNTY can run the water company more efficiently than United Water?
Andromachos February 27, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Even worse, " he would appoint a panel to explore why Rockland does not have a water district." What? Ask the County Clerk if there was a prior resolution that failed and the County Attorney if it is a legal possibility. You should demand your answer to be provided from them within a week or two. We don't need a commission of government cronies to take six months or a year or more to figure it out. Typical government prevarication and waste from Mr. Fried. David Fried will just plow us further under with this kind of government.
Sarah Karns March 02, 2013 at 02:54 PM


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