Niagara Falls Public Water Authority


About the Niagara Falls Public Water Authority

The Niagara Falls Public Water Authority and the Niagara Falls Water Board were created through special legislation enacted by the New York State Legislature in July 2002 (see the “Enabling Law” below).  The Water Board purchased the water, wastewater, and stormwater system (“System”) serving the City of Niagara Falls in September 2003, using the proceeds of bonds issued by the Authority.  The Water Board is the System owner and is responsible for operation and maintenance of the System, and the planning/implementation of capital improvements to the System.  The Authority was responsible for financing the acquisition of the System and is responsible for financing future capital improvements, through the issuance of bonds.

The Water Authority:

  • Issues debt;
  • Provides the proceeds of debt to finance the Water Board’s Capital Improvement Plan; and
  • Provides oversight regarding the adequacy of revenues and system condition, particularly prior to agreeing to further bond issuances requested by the Water Board or the refunding of existing debt.

The Water Board:

  • Owns the System;
  • Operates and maintains the System;
  • Is responsible for System improvements;
  • Sets rates and collects revenues;
  • Pays debt service on bonds;
  • Pays the Authority’s expenses; and
  • Contracts various support services with outside vendors.

Given the limited objectives for which it was created, the Authority maintains no staff, Water Board staff provide the limited work required to support the Authority’s day-to-day operations.

For inquiries related to the Authority, please contact the Authority’s Secretary:

Sean W. Costello, Esq.

5815 Buffalo Avenue

Niagara Falls, New York 14304

[email protected]

(716) 283-9770 ext. 2110


Meeting Notices, Agenda Packets, and Minutes

The Authority meets as needed.  Meetings are held at the Water Board’s administrative offices at 5815 Buffalo Avenue, Niagara Falls, are open to the public, and are handicap accessible.  Meeting notices are posted to this website, at the Water Board’s administrative building, and distributed to local media.


Niagara Falls Public Water Authority Members

There are three Authority members; one each is appointed by the Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls, the New York State Senate, and the New York State Assembly.  Authority members serve three-year terms.  Pursuant to Public Authorities Law § 1230-c(2), “All [Water Authority] members shall continue to hold office until their successors are appointed and qualify.”

The Board of Directors is as follows:

  • Mr. Jason J. Murgia, Chairperson. Murgia was appointed to the Authority by the New York State Assembly on September 22, 2011, to fill a term ending on December 31, 2013.  Mr. Murgia earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.  He is General Manager of The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls, and formerly was a Niagara County Legislator, Community Grant Service Coordinator for the Niagara Falls Board of Education, Proprietor of Orchard Grill, and Merchandising Sales Manager for J.C. Penny Company, Inc.
  • Mr. Daniel L. Weiss, Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer. Weiss was appointed to the Authority by the New York State Senate on May 16, 2016, to fill a term ending on December 31, 2018.  Mr. Weiss holds a Master of Education degree and a Bachelor of Education degree from Buffalo State College.  He is an elementary teacher for the Niagara Falls Board of Education, and serves as financial administrator for a family‑owned business.
  • Mr. Sanquin L. Starks. Starks was appointed to the Authority by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul A. Dyster on June 7, 2016, to fill a term ending on December 31, 2017.  Mr. Starks studied business management at D’Youville College.  He is Director of Youth Services for the City of Niagara Falls, and his work experience includes acting as marketing manager for a Super Bowl champion athlete and sales and customer service representative positions.  Mr. Starks also is the founder of Unity Day, an annual celebration for Niagara Falls youth.


Independent Audits and Audit Reports

 The Authority is the subject of annual independent financial audits.  It is audited at the same time as the Niagara Falls Water Board, and for audit purposes is considered a blended component unit of the Niagara Falls Water Board.

Although they are legally separate entities, blended component units are, in substance, part of the government entity’s operations.  The Authority is considered a component unit of the Water Board because the Water Board is obligated to pay debt service and fund other accounts of the Authority.  Thus, the Authority is fiscally dependent upon the Board to establish rates and collect fees necessary to pay these debts.  Further, the Authority is “blended” with the Board in the financial statements because the Authority exists solely to provide services that predominantly benefit the Board.

Click the following link for recent audits, auditors’ reports, and management assessments of internal controls:


Annual Reports on Operations and Accomplishments

2019:  In 2019, the Water Authority conducted an annual business meeting.  It acted favorably on a request by the Niagara Falls Water Board to authorize the issuance of $13,500,000 in bonds to fund capital improvements to the Water Board’s wastewater treatment plant.  These bonds will cover the Water Board’s share of work totaling $27,000,000, half of which is funded by a grant from the State of New York.

2018:  In 2018, the Water Authority conducted an annual business meeting, but was not requested to issue or refinance any debt.  The Authority made all required debt payments.

2017:  In 2017, the Water Authority was not requested to issue or refinance any debt.  The Authority made all required debt payments.


Niagara Falls Public Water Authority Mission Statement

 In accordance with its enabling legislation, the mission of the Niagara Falls Public Water Authority is to finance the acquisition and improvement by the Niagara Falls Water Board of the water, wastewater, and stormwater systems serving the City of Niagara Falls.  In this capacity, the Authority has been able substantially to reduce the burden of debt on users of the systems, and benefits the people of the City, the service area, and the State through the improvement of their health, welfare, and prosperity.


Procurement Policy

 Authority procurements are facilitated by Water Board staff, and subject to the Water Board’s procurement policy found here:


Property Acquisition and Disposition Policy

The Authority does not acquire or dispose of any real or personal property.  All System assets are the property of the Water Board.


Investment Policy and Annual Investment Report

 Authority funds are subject to the same statutory limitations designed to adequately safeguard principal as those of the Niagara Falls Water Board.  Authority funds therefore are invested pursuant to the Water Board’s investment policy, found here:


Additional Policies

The Authority has reviewed and adopted for it itself to the extent applicable to its operations the Water Board’s Salary and Compensation, Time and Attendance, and Whistleblower Protection, Sexual Harassment Policy and Reporting Form.  These policies are found here:


Official Statements for Debt Issuances

 Although debt issuances have been authorized, the Authority has not actually issued any debt in the last two years.  Official statements for any future debt issuances will be posted here, and maintained on the Authority’s web page for at least two years.


Personal and Real Property Transactions

The Authority does not engage in any personal or real property transactions.  Any such transactions in connection with the System would be conducted by the Water Board, as owner and operator of the System.


Committees and Committee Meetings

Pursuant to Section 2824(4), (7), and (8) of the Public Authorities Law, the Authority hereby established an Audit Committee, Governance Committee, and Finance Committee, and designated as members of the each Committee all three sitting Authority Board members, making the Audit, Governance, and Finance Committees all committees of the whole.


Organizational Chart

The Authority relies upon Water Board employees for its limited day-to-day operations.  The Water Board’s current organizational chart is available here:

Authority Members


Jason Murgia, Chairperson Daniel L. Weiss, Vice-Chairperson and Treasurer Sanquin L. Starks


Sean W. Costello, Esq., Secretary

(Niagara Falls Water Board Employee)

Authority By-Laws and Code of Ethics

 A copy of the Authority’s By-Laws is available at this link: Authority By-Laws

 The Authority has adopted and and is bound by the statutory Code of Ethics found at Public Authorities Law Section 1230-v.  A copy of the relevant provisions of the Public Authorities law is available here: