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Cayuga Nation cuts Union Springs schools off from natural gas source its used for 40+ years

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Union Springs Central School District has lost access to a natural gas well it had used for over four decades, following a dispute with the Cayuga Nation, which now owns the land.

The Citizen reports the school district, which has depended on the well for heating its buildings since 1981, is now facing significantly higher energy costs and has appealed to the Department of the Interior for intervention.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The conflict escalated after the Cayuga Nation, which acquired the property in 2004, severed the district’s access to the well in early February.

This move came after months of failed negotiations over the district’s use of the well and associated payments, with the nation recently demanding back payments since 2005 and offering a temporary extension at what it claimed was below market value.

The district has since switched to NYSEG for its energy needs, prompting a mid-year budget adjustment.