Niagara Falls Water Board – Financial Management (2015M-141)

Issued Date
March 18, 2016

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to determine if the Board is managing the Water Board’s finances in accordance with the governing agreements and New York State Public Authorities Law for the period January 1, 2013 through April 30, 2015.


The Niagara Falls Water Board and the Niagara Falls Public Water Authority are public benefit corporations which were created in 2002 by a special act of the New York State Legislature. The Water Board, which is governed by an appointed five-member Board, owns and operates the City of Niagara Falls’ drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems and facilities. The Water Board’s operating budget for 2015 totaled approximately $29.8 million and included appropriations for the Water Board and the Water Authority.

Key Findings

  • The Water Board’s and the Water Authority’s finances are commingled to the extent that there is no clear division between the two entities.
  • The Authority’s Debt Service Fund is excessively funded.

Key Recommendations

  • Ensure that Water Board and Water Authority finances are managed in accordance with the terms of the governing agreements, resolutions and statutory requirements, and are properly reported.
  • Use the excess cash in the Debt Service Fund for capital projects or repairs or to reduce the water and sewer rent rates charged to taxpayers.