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Seneca Supervisors approved lower water payment to Varick

A lengthy dispute over an unpaid water bill was settled Tuesday, and Seneca County will save $14,352.

The county-managed Seneca County Water District No. 1 buys its water from the Seneca Lake Water District, which is run by the town of Varick. Varick gets the water from the village of Waterloo.

The controversy started when a broken water meter resulted in a discrepancy in determining how much the county water district used during 2016. The county installed a new meter and determined the Seneca Lake Water District was underpaid for water sold to the county district.

Varick officials, after consulting with Waterloo officials, said they were owed $139,000. The county said their bill should be $107,648. A compromise was reached to settle the matter for $122,000. That amount was approved by the Board of Supervisors’ Public Works Committee Jan. 22 and was expected to receive final approval Tuesday.

However, Fayette Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti proposed an amendment to pay Varick $107,648.

“I asked Finance Director Halle Stevens to look over the spreadsheet figures justifying the $107,648 underpayment, and she said that amount is supported by the figures,” Lorenzetti said.

Varick Supervisor Bob Hayssen gave Stevens a document from Waterloo he said justified the $139,000 figure and asked her to explain the difference. Stevens said her analysis showed that $107,648 was the amount due.

Hayssen then criticized former County Manager John Sheppard and former County Finance Director Brandi Deeds for their roles in the discrepancy.

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