BUFFALO, NY - The Erie County Water Authority is spending $500,000 this year to replace aging work vehicles and provide a few employees new take-home vehicles, according to the Buffalo News.   

Among those who have received new vehicles include the agency's executive director, distribution and senior distribution engineers, and several other high-paid employees, reported Buffalo News.

The Water Authority provides the fuel, maintenance, and insurance on the vehicles it gives to employees. Employees pay income tax on the personal benefit, Buffalo News reported.

The authority, which no longer gives vehicles to its three governing commissioners, says the personnel given take-home vehicles are expected to respond to emergencies and some of their vehicles carry special communications equipment. Rank-and-file employees, now locked in contract negotiations with the authority, say they often respond during emergencies, but don't get employer-provided vehicles, reported Buffalo News.