East Orange, NJ, November 18, 2016: With the successful transformation of the East Orange Water Commission, East Orange is emerging as a national model of urban excellence for the turnaround and management of the city’s once beleaguered municipal water utility.
On Saturday, November 19, 2016, Mayor Taylor will participate on the panel “How to Prevent a Water Crisis” during the National League of Cities’ City Summit in Pittsburgh, PA. He will be joined by Councilman Dave Richins of Mesa, Arizona and Councilman Karl Nurse of St. Petersburg, Florida.
Next month, on December 7, 2016, Mayor Taylor will participate in a Mayors Roundtable during the American Water Summit in Miami, Florida. He will be joined by fellow mayors: Karen Weaver of Flint, Michigan; Stephanie Miner of Syracuse, NY; Paula Hicks-Hudson of Toledo, Ohio; Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida; and Patrick Burt of Palo Alto, California.
Less than three years ago, the East Orange Water Commission was mired in controversy as mismanagement and the criminal conduct of previous leadership threatened to end the city’s ownership over a water system that was built to service its residents more than 100 years ago.
In 2014, upon taking office, Mayor Taylor overhauled the commission, including replacing its board members and later entering into a short-term agreement with Veolia North America, one of the premiere water management firms in the world. Within the first 60 days of entering the contract with Veolia, the EOWC experienced hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings. In six months, the commission closed a $4 million shortfall on a $23 million budget with a projected savings of 15-20% over the next three years.
Earlier this year, the East Orange City Council recently approved a $23.4M bond to support additional improvements that are aligned with long-term plans developed to further enhance the water system.
Current improvements include the recent completion of a $5.2M construction project to install air stripper devices to reduce volatile compounds and further improve the quality of the city’s water supply.
“During a time when water crises are impacting communities across the globe and New Jersey’s own drinking water supplies continue to shrink as the drought continues, I am proud to represent East Orange as an example of good governance, innovation and investment,” said Mayor Taylor. “While our choices may not have always been popular, they were always made with the best interest of our residents, customers and taxpayers in mind. The quality of our drinking water is a resource we simply cannot afford to lose.”
For information on both conferences, please visit: