[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Westfield 7-9-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 45, Public Utilities, Board of, adopted 10-30-1995 by L.L. No. 4-1995.
This chapter shall be known as the "Village of Westfield Public Works Law."
Whenever used in this chapter, words used in the singular include the plural and vice versa:
There shall be in the Village of Westfield a Department of Public Works. The principal executive officer and administrative head of such department shall be the Director who shall be appointed by the mayor subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees in the exempt or noncompetitive classification as determined by civil service for the term and at such salary as may from time to time be fixed by said Board of Trustees. The Director shall be appointed on the basis of his administrative experience and qualifications for the duties of such office and such additional standards as may be required by the Board of Trustees. The Director shall be the head of the Department and shall have supervision of all supervisors and employees within the Department. Such supervisory authority shall include the power and authority to remove supervisors and employees under his jurisdiction in accordance with civil service and other applicable laws. In addition, the Director shall have the power and authority to appoint those new supervisors and employees from names recommended by the Board of Trustees.
Department divisions; funds.
Until such time as the same may be either amended or modified, the Department shall be divided into the following divisions:
Separate funds and accounts shall be kept for the water, sewer and electric utilities by the Village Treasurer as required by the Uniform System of Accounts, the Department of Audit and Control of the State of New York and other regulatory agencies. A separate fund and account shall also be kept for the streets division by the Village Treasurer as required by the Uniform System of Accounts and the Department of Audit and Control of the State of New York. Each division may be operated with some independence of the others, except insofar as the Director shall determine joint operations to be advisable and economical. Expenses incurred in joint operations shall be equitably prorated among the divisions by the Director after consultation with the Village Treasurer or his Deputy.
[Amended 6-23-2014 by L.L. No. 3-2014]
Pursuant to Village Law § 3-308, there is hereby created a Board of Public Works which shall advise and assist the Director and the Board of Trustees in the operations of the electric, water and sewer utility systems of the Village.
Number of Commissioners. The BPW shall consist of seven members of whom one shall be a member of the Board of Trustees, which member shall be appointed at the organizational meeting by the Mayor and serve a one-year term.
Appointment and tenure. The members shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, for terms which shall be so fixed that one shall expire each official year for the following six years, and one per year thereafter, as provided by the Village Law, unless they shall resign or be removed from office as provided in the Public Officers Law of the State of New York.
Vacancies. Vacancies shall be filled by the Mayor, as provided in the Village Law of the State of New York, for the unexpired term. No vacancy in the BPW shall impair the right of the remaining BPW membership to exercise all the powers of the BPW.
Qualifications. Pursuant to Village Law § 3-300, Subdivision 2, resident electors of the Town of Westfield or Village of Westfield shall be eligible for appointment to the BPW, except that not more than two members shall reside in the Town of Westfield outside of the Village of Westfield. A member ceasing to possess any of these qualifications shall vacate his office as prescribed by the Village Law and Public Officers Law of the State of New York.
Policy. The Board shall be an advisory board and may recommend policies to assist the Director and the Board of Trustees in governing its assigned responsibilities for utility management in conformance with the Village Law of the State of New York, the Code of the Village of Westfield, regulatory agency regulations and industry standards.
Clerk. The Village Clerk shall be the Clerk of the Board of Public Works.
Budget and rate structures. The Board may advise and assist the Director and the Village Treasurer in establishing an annual budget setting forth the expenditures and expected revenue, including rate structures, for the separate accounts to be maintained for the water, sewer and electric divisions in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, Code of the Village of Westfield, regulatory agency regulations and industry standards.
Other issues. The Board may also assist and advise the Director and the Board of Trustees in other matters that come before it regarding the general operations and maintenance of the utilities as requested from time to time by the Director or the Board of Trustees.
The powers and duties of the divisions of the DPW shall be established by and be under the administration, direction and control of the Director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees.
The Director may, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, establish, consolidate or abolish any divisions now existing or hereafter created in said Department.
The Director is hereby authorized and empowered, subject to the prior approval of the Board of Trustees, except that such prior approval will not be required in cases of emergency, to retain and employ private engineers, architects and consultants or firms practicing such profession for the purposes of:
Preparing designs, plans and estimates of structures or projects of any type and character.
Rendering assistance and advice in connection with any project, whether defined or proposed and under the supervision of the Department of Public Works.
Performing such other and necessary services as the Director may deem necessary in the normal administration of the Department.
Sale of services, construction, contracts and real estate. The Director, in the efficient and economical operation of the Department, both inside and outside the Village limits, may, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees and any restrictions and limitations imposed on the Village by the Laws of the State of New York, sell its products and services to public and private corporations and to other consumers; and construct plants, transmission lines and pipelines and other facilities. Contracts, leases and agreements as well as the purchase or sale of real estate and franchises must be approved by the Village Board of Trustees.
Extensions of services. The Director, with the assistance of the Board of Public Works, may recommend to the Board of Trustees regulations or policies governing extensions of services both inside and outside the Village limits.
Joint operations with others. The Director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, may enter into contracts and agreements with any public or private corporation or any individual, both inside and outside the boundaries of the Village and state, for the joint use of property belonging either to the Department or to the other contracting party or jointly to both parties. Pursuant to the provisions of the Local Finance Law of the State of New York, the Department may enter into contracts and agreements for the joint acquisition of personal property and the joint financing, construction and operation of plants, buildings, transmission lines and other facilities subject to the approval of the Village Board of Trustees.
Use of thoroughfares for utility installations. The Department may use the ground over, under or along any Village-owned street or right-of-way but shall, in all cases and subject to applicable general regulations of the Village, cause the surface of the public way to be restored to its usual condition.
Rates. The Director after review and consultation with the Village Treasurer or his Deputy, shall recommend rates to be charged for electricity, water and sewer utilities sold and services rendered for review and approval by the Board of Trustees. Rates shall be fair, reasonable and compensatory and shall be uniform for all consumers within the same class; but different rate schedules may be applied to different classes of consumers as determined by the Board of Trustees. Rates charged for sewer use shall be consistent with Environmental Protection Agency rules, regulations and the provisions of any grants made to the Village. Rates for electric shall be consistent with rules and regulations of the Power Authority of the State of New York and/or the Public Service Commission, whichever shall be appropriate. Rates within the Village limits may be less but shall be no greater than for the same class of consumers outside the Village limits. Rates shall be sufficient to pay all operating and maintenance expenses of each respective utility operation and all capital costs of the respective utility operations. Rates shall also be sufficient to provide an annual contribution-in-lieu-of-taxes from the Electric, Water and Sewer Departments to the general fund of the Village, as required by the Village Trustees. The DPW may require reasonable deposits as security for the payment of charges for utility services and may provide for the return of the deposits when satisfactory consumer credit has been established in accordance with limitations imposed by the New York State Law and Regulations of the New York Power Authority and/or Public Service Commission, if appropriate. A public hearing will be held for all rate increases in accordance with Article 21 of the Village Law of the State of New York.
Bond issues. The Director may recommend to the Board of Trustees that it may fund projects either by using current funds or by financing them through the issuance of general obligation bonds or notes.
Public information expenditures. The Director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees, may authorize reasonable expenditures to acquaint the public with the operations, programs and plans of the DPW and to encourage conservation.
Investment of surplus funds. The Director, subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees and through the Village Treasurer or his Deputy, may invest Department surplus funds, if any, only in the same manner as the Village Treasurer is authorized to invest other public funds.
Accounting and budget reports. The Director, upon consultation with the Village Treasurer or his Deputy, in addition to the reports and accounting it may otherwise be required by law to make, shall furnish the Board of Trustees its annual financial report which shall include a balance sheet and a statement of operations showing the financial condition of each separate division prepared according to generally accepted public utility accounting principles. The funds and accounts of the Department shall be audited annually by an outside accountant with municipal utility expertise and shall be open to public inspection. The Director, after consultation with the Village Treasurer or his Deputy, shall also annually prepare a budget estimate for the ensuing year and furnish a copy to the Mayor and Board of Trustees.
Nothing herein shall be construed to delegate or transfer any power of the mayor or Board of Trustees contained in the Village Law of the State of New York or any other statutory or constitutional authority other than that authority that is specifically delegated herein.
All the properties (real, personal and mixed), leases, easements, licenses and interests of every kind, rights, privileges, powers and franchises and any other assets held or claimed by the Board of Public Utilities shall become the property of and be held by the Village of Westfield Board of Trustees. The Village of Westfield Board of Trustees shall assume all liabilities, contractual obligations and rights of creditors of the Board of Public Utilities.