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Metro-North Not Required to Comply With Sewer Rent Law

November 1, 2005

The following letter from Metro-North was stamped "received" on October 31, 2005 by Village Clerk Peggy Kessler. The letter, which cites state law, making Metro-North exempt from the payment of "fees", is directed to Village Manager Richard Herbek in response to Mayor Dr. Greg Schmidt's proposed Sanitary Sewer Rent Law.

Republican Mayor Schmidt and Trustees Brennan and Steinberg have all expressed their support for this law despite objections and concerns from Democratic Trustees Kane and Wiegman. According to The Journal News, Schmidt expects to approve the new law in November.

***

Peter A. Cannito, President
347 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10017-3739

October 26, 2005

Richard Herbek
Village Manager
Village of Croton-on-Hudson
1 Van Wyck Street
Croton-on-Hudson, New York 10520

Re: Proposed New Article V of Chapter 191, Sewers, -- Code of Village of Croton

Dear Mr. Herbek:

The Metro-North Railroad Legal Department reviewed the above-referenced proposed Village of Croton-on-Hudson law and considered its potential applicability to Metro-North’s Harmon Yard located within the Village of Croton-on-Hudson.

Metro-North pays an annual water bill to the Village in consideration of the fact that it receives municipal water service. However, Metro-North does not use any portion of the Village’s sewer system as sanitary sewage generated within the Yard flows directly to the Ossining Seage Treatment Plant through County-owned sewer lines.

Sections 1266(8) and 1275 of the New York State Public Authorities law exempts Metro-North from the payment of “fees”. The exemptions contained in those provisions operate to remove Metro-North from any requirement to comply with the law if it is adopted.

Should circumstances change in the future so that Metro-North should commence use of the Village’s sewer line system, this matter would have to be revisited as Metro-North would then be receiving a service from the Village.

I hope this letter answers your questions.

Very truly yours,

Karen L. Timko, Esq.
Director, Environmental Compliance and Services

MTA Metro-North Railroad is an agency of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, State of New York
Peter S. Kalikow, Chairman

***

Related Letters to the Editor:

* Revenue Increase from Sewer Rent is Tiny and Troublesome
* Proposed Sewer Rent Law: Losers and Winners
* Steinberg is Trustee-in-Error on Sewer Rent
* Revenue From Sewers May Not Cover Legal Bills
* My Alibi

On November 2, 2005 9:28 AM, weewill said:

Mr. Mayor, you started this with your perceived “mandate” to lower debt and taxes. While you may have been well-intentioned in the beginning, you now have to see the fallacy of your idea.

Not only will it not be fair and equitable, it will not raise money but will cost money and precipitate lawsuits, and be so unfair that it will cause anger and more neighbor fighting neighbor and more divisiveness in the village over a misguided and misinformed NEW TAX for residents. This just doesn’t make any sense.

You promised to hold taxes down, not to add new ones! Please, stop this charade and withdraw this idea from your agenda.

On November 2, 2005 7:58 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

Now what? The biggest source of supposed revenue for this new tax, declares it is exempt - have we heard from the county on their legal position, re Croton Point Park?

And even though Father Mike said that Holy Name of Mary would pay the tax, if it became law and BECAUSE it became law, he said he would pay it out of his own pocket as he did not agree with the precedent of taxing non-taxable insitutions.

For the amount of money we are talking about here, there are way too many good relationships within the village being harmed for this to be worth the effort, not to mention the amount of village staff time that must be being used.



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