Weights & Measures is one of the oldest and most important functions of government. The necessity for weights and measures standards, and the need for the government to apply those standards to day-to-day commercial transactions was recognized by early civilizations, and the economic impact to buyers and sellers continues today.
A division of DPW, Weights & Measures enforces New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Article 16, regulations under 1NYCRR Parts 220 to 224, and applies the procedures set forth by the National Institute of Standards. Each county is required to have a Weights & Measures program. The Cattaraugus County Department works with the State Bureau, is a member of the National Conference on Weights & Measures, and the New York State Weights and Measures Association.
Weights & Measures' goal is "Equity in the Marketplace" to ensure that a commercial transaction is fair to both buyer and seller.
Each family has hundreds of dollars at stake per year in Weights & Measures enforcement. Even a small fraction of error in a device package can cost a business owner thousands of dollars in a short time. Taxpayers are protected as the County purchases large volumes of goods over devices tested and sealed by the Department.
To accomplish the above goal the Department inspects and tests weighing and measuring devices in the County for accuracy and proper operation. Pharmacy scales, scruple weights to scales, which weigh trucks, and all scales in between are included. Liquid measures and devices from small graduates to gasoline pumps through petroleum delivery truck meters are also tested. Much time is spent on calibrating the growing number of large bulk milk tanks on Cattaraugus County farms. Other devices inspected are linear measures and devices, volume bulk measures, and timing devices.
Additional duties performed involve picking up petroleum samples from retail and wholesale locations to be tested for proper octane, and various other requirements by New York State, and by doing an investigation when necessary. Inspections are made at businesses, which package items or have packages for sale. Individual packages and lots are tested for compliance in relation to their correct weight or measure, labeling requirement, and for the proper method of sale and packaging procedure.