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Opinion

(Ed's note: The following was sent to the PW Water District Commissioners and is printed here at the writer's request.)

I enclose an Appellate Division decision, which appeared in the New York Law Journal yesterday, holding that a "water district" is not required to pay any costs, including membership fees, associated with mandated participation in New York's "One Call Users Council, Inc., a/k/a "New York City & Long Island One Call/Dig Safely, Inc.," under General Business Law section 761. The court construed the term "municipalities" in sub-section 3, to which the fee exemption applies, "to mean all governmental entities, including town improvement districts." Again, the court said that "the legislature used the term 'municipalities" in a generic sense, to refer to all governmental entities that operate underground facilities."

If the Water District, as well as "all (other) governmental entities that operate underground facilities, "has paid any such fees, I think a demand for a refund would be honored. Sound fiscal responsibility constrains that the demand be made. Certainly, going forward, the Water District and such other governmental entities should not pay any fees.

Sidney M. Segall


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