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Record staffers bring you information on the comings and goings of New York's Collar City.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back in court


On Monday, the city of Rensselaer filed a lawsuit against the city of Troy seeking a temporary restraining order related to their water bill from the city.

While we haven't yet seen the court documents, sources say that Rensselaer has not paid their water bill since settling their outstanding debt last fall.

Other sources have also claimed that the lawsuit centers somewhat around discrepancies between rates that were charged to Rensselaer and the Town of East Greenbush, since the two municipalities share a water line.

Last August, Troy agreed to settle Rensselaer's outstanding water debt for a period between 1998 and 2006 for a total payment of $1.7 million by October, which was paid on time.

Check back soon as further information on the matter becomes available.

After reading over the court documents, it seems that Rensselaer filed for the TRO to prevent Troy from shutting off the municipality's water as officials have threatened to do in the past.

Rensselear Mayor Dan Dwyer also filed an Article 78 motion in state Supreme Court seeking a judgment that the city had paid it's most recent water bill to Troy in full based on a rate of $1.569 per thousand gallons, which Troy gave to them and the Town of East Greenbush in March of 2008.

Separate letters to municipalities were later sent from Troy in May stating that their water rates would now be $3.432 per thousand gallons because a previously renegotiated contract was never signed off on or approved by Dwyer.

Rensselaer's attorney, Paul Goldman, says that Troy cannot charge the municipalities different rates because they are "similarly situated water users" and because they share both a water district and water line.

Troy city spokesman Jeff Buell said that there were different rates because Troy has a contract with East Greenbush but not with Rensselaer.

The matter is scheduled to be further discussed in Supreme Court on Friday.

Look for an article in The Record and on the Web site Thursday for further details.

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