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Supervisors make progress on draft sewer use law in Seneca County

Seneca County might finally be getting somewhere with one of its most-complex issues.

The Board of Supervisors met in a special committee session Monday night to discuss the future of a sewer use law, which will be introduced to the full-board after successful passage through committee.

“This has been one of the biggest issues in Seneca County for the last several years,” Fayette Town Supervisor Cindy Lorenzetti said before the meeting began. “We have seen water and sewer issues; and most of them are related to mismanagement.”

Once discussion began about a proposed sewer use law, which would cover the essentials in all of the County’s districts – Supervisor Lorenzetti kicked things off by asking a series of questions for County Attorney David Ettman, who wrote the proposed use law.

The Department of Environmental Conservation urged Seneca County to create and adopt a sewer use law as it moves forward with a plan to fix a series of issues related to infrastructure in the County’s two southern sewer districts.

District #1 runs from the Village of Ovid to the Willard Drug Treatment Center, then travels north to Sampson State Park, Lakeshore Landing, and East Lake Road. The Village of Lodi is also served through this district.

District #2 covers the former Seneca Army Depot, as well as Five Points Correctional Facility, Spring Meadows Apartments, and The Seneca County Law Enforcement Center.

There was some discussion about the prospect of changing the borderlines of certain the two districts, but those ideas were ultimately tabled for a different time.

Waterloo Town Supervisor Don Trout, who leads the committee tasked with getting the use law passed to the full-board on Monday didn’t hide his desire to see debate end. “We’ve been here before; and we need to get moving on this. I want everyone to know that I support the law,” he explained.

Before the committee unanimously passed the resolution to bring the draft law to the full-board – a couple changes were passed as well:

– The supervisors requested quarterly reports from the sewer administrator. The law only mandated an annual report, which Ettman said would be a ‘deep dive’ into the running of the districts. “There won’t be as much information to report on a quarterly basis, but the Board of Supervisors can request more updates throughout the year,” he explained.

– The supervisors also requested that seasonal rate references be removed from the proposed law. They decided at the same time to remove other financial pieces from the draft law, like penalties and fees.

The full-board will now consider a motion to introduce the draft law, which will trigger a public hearing in late-October, or early-November – depending on how the Board’s next two sessions go.

– Reporting by Josh Durso

Host of Inside the FLX and Sunday Conversation available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Tune-In, and Anchor. Send story ideas, questions, and comments to [email protected].