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ROBERT F. CROSS
COMMISSIONER OF WATER CITY OF ALBANY
Mayor Gerald D. Jennings appointed Robert F. Cross on February 1, 1996 as Commissioner of Water for the City of Albany. In this capacity, Commissioner Cross is responsible for management and supervision of the Albany Department of Water and Water Supply, which operates the system supplying drinking water for a population of more than 100,000, including residents in the City of Albany and Towns of Bethlehem and Guilderland, which purchase Albany water.
The system includes the Alcove and Basic Creek Reservoirs, the Loudonville Reservoir, the state’s largest UV treatment facility and the second largest in the nation, a modern water purification plant, two pumping stations, two water towers, and 22 miles of 48-inch conduit and 376 miles of underground water mains. The Commissioner is responsible for a staff of 125 office and field personnel, and develops and oversees the Department’s $25 million budget.
The Commissioner previously served as Assistant Environmental Commissioner for New York State, where he was responsible for supervision of the agency’s nine regional offices, and also provided executive assistance to the State Environmental Commissioner, directing an executive staff in a wide variety of matters. He also was responsible for providing briefings on environmental matters for the Governor.
In 1998, upon nomination by Mayor Jennings, the Governor appointed Commissioner Cross as Commissioner of the Albany Port District Commission, which operates the 240-acre year round Hudson River seaport. Two years later, Commissioner Cross was elected Chairman of the Port Commission, and continues to implement the Mayor’s highly successful plan of converting the Port into a first-class inland seaport.
The Commissioner also serves on the board of trustees for the Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, which operates the USS Slater, the only World War II destroyer escort still afloat in America. Mayor Jennings brought the former warship to Albany in 1997 as part of the Mayor’s multi-million dollar waterfront revitalization effort. More than 15,000 people visit the museum ship each season.
Commissioner Cross holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in biology. Previously, he served on the Albany City Planning Board, the Governor’s Task Force on the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and the New York State Drought Management Task Force. He is a former award-winning writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He is the author of the presidential biography, Sailor in the White House: the Seafaring Life of FDR, published by the Naval Institute Press in 2003 and Shepherds of the Sea: Destroyer Escorts in World War II published by the Naval Institute Press in 2010.