Mayor talks about restructuring WG&L - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Mayor talks about restructuring WG&L

August 28, 2006

Albany - Albany Mayor Willie Adams says a lack of cooperation and information is why he wants the city to take control of Albany Water, Gas and Light. Adams, who also serves as the WG&L Board chairman, says two lawsuits against the city and a cleanup project at a manufactured gas plant are just some of the problems they are facing.

Mayor Willie Adams says the city isn't trying to take over Water, Gas and Light. There's no need to.  He says, "Water, Gas and Light, already belongs to the city. In the charter, it clearly states that they should be able to conduct business by the commissioners that the Mayor and the City Commissioners appoint."

He says any resources left over after normal business should revert to the city of Albany. And any problems should be reported to city commissioners, the Mayor and the City Manager.  Adams says, "We've got to have better communication and a better relationship along those lines."

He says two Water, Gas and Light discrimination lawsuits hit them out of the blue. "We knew nothing about at all until they hit the desk of our lawyer," says Adams.  They also had not been told about a cleanup at the old Manufactured Gas Plant, ordered by the Environmental Protection Division.  He says it, "May cost the taxpayers of the city millions of dollars. To this point, I have not heard it, either in the Water, Gas and Light Commission meeting, nor has it been given to our city Attorney."

He says that lack of communication is one reason commissioners want a change. "We have to have some liaison between the two entities in order to be responsible for what comes out over there." And he believes the city Manager could be that liaison keeping both commissions up to date.

The proposal to restructure Water, Gas and Light has not been placed on the city's agenda. Once it is, there will have to be two readings before commissioners can vote on it.

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