February 28, 2022 05:00 PM

Strategic Plan 2025, the first written business plan in the long history of the Suffolk County Water Authority, is on target to be approximately 80% complete by year’s end, Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Szabo told the SCWA Board during a progress update on the plan at the SCWA Board meeting on Thursday.

SCWA leaders launched the 10-year plan in 2015 as a coordinated effort to ensure that SCWA is prepared to meet the challenges of the next decade. Developed by key personnel, the plan provides a blueprint for the future management of SCWA, highlighted by 11 comprehensive initiatives that will position the authority to maintain its place at the forefront of the public water supply industry for decades to come.

“In 2015, Suffolk County Water Authority created Strategic Plan 2025 so we would be ready to meet the ever-increasing needs of our customers,” said Patrick Halpin, Chairman of the SCWA Board. “Now we are seeing those plans come to fruition and our customers are reaping the benefits. We are dealing with emerging contaminants, improving our infrastructure, expanding our customer base, and maintaining some of the lowest rates in the state. This progress update show that SCWA is ready to tackle the next set of challenges as we move beyond 2025.”

“Thanks to the vision of our leadership team and the dedication of our employees, SCWA is on track to complete the overwhelming majority of the goals we established nearly a decade ago,” added Szabo. “This year will be critical for SCWA, as many of the long-planned projects come online and we begin to plan for the future of the Authority.”

At the Board meeting, Szabo said SCWA is on track to complete 95% of the goals originally established in the plan. He highlighted some of the key completed achievements, including creating a two-tiered rate structure, developing and deploying new infrastructure to address emerging contaminants and creating a policy that new policies and practices put Authority customers first.

Szabo also discussed other initiatives on track to be completed by 2025, including:

  • A new asset management system that will improve tracking of assets and creates greater cost-saving efficiencies;
  • Investment of approximately $1 billion in key infrastructure between 2015 and 2025 to ensure SCWA can serve the increasing demand of customers;
  • A new telephone system that provides customers with new options and enhancements;
  • A planned North Fork pipeline that will address future growth needs in the Town of Southold while ensuring the protection of the shallow local aquifer;
  • Reaching a revenue-supported capital budget that exceeds 50% in the future, which will ensure that SCWA can sustainably pay for future infrastructure improvements.

The Suffolk County Water Authority is an independent public-benefit corporation operating under the authority of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York. Serving approximately 1.2 million Suffolk County residents, the Authority operates without taxing power on a not-for-profit basis. SCWA has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading water providers.

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