"The Erie County Water Authority's four-year quest to buy Buffalo's water system suffered a fatal blow Monday when the Common Council failed to meet a deadline for authorizing a referendum on the takeover. Despite mounting pressure in recent days from the state control board, the city comptroller and county officials, lawmakers insisted that too many questions remain unanswered. Issues range from skepticism over claims that the takeover would minimize water rate increases to fears that laying off half of the water system's 120 workers would hurt service. Advocates of the move had said the Council would have had to call a special session by Monday to schedule the referendum. Missing the deadline, they said, would derail efforts to obtain $50 million in low-interest state financing, key to making the deal work. Robert A. Mendez, executive director of the county authority, said he was disappointed that a half-dozen meetings with Council members failed to produce an agreement. "
Anyone want to explain why Buffalo needs its own water utility? Any reason why they can't use the county's? Well, the City's Common Council missed the deadline (really?) yesterday to place the sale of the city's water authority up for a referendum this year, thus bucking the wishes of the control board.