Auburn’s hydroelectric facilities, technology security critiqued by state comptroller

A state audit released Wednesday concluded the Auburn City Council did not provide adequate oversight over its hydroelectric facilities.

The audit by of the Office of the New York State Comptroller, which assessed the city’s hydroelectric power operations and software management practices from July 1, 2015 through March 9, 2017, found that council did not adopt adequate policies and procedures regarding procurement practices for hydroelectric projects, nor did it adopt formal, long-term financial plans or develop adequate capital plans related to the facilities.

The audit found that when awarding a $3.9 million energy performance contract to Siemens Industry Inc. for the reconstruction and operation of the Mill Street Dam hydroelectric facility in 2012, the council based the decision on “inaccurate financial projections.” Those projections showed the project would generate profit for the city by the end of its second operating year. That, however, has not happened.

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