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Elbridge, Village of - Supplemental Decision, February 15, 1995

Supplemental Decision, February 15, 1995

STATE OF NEW YORK : DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-1550 In the Matter of

the application of the VILLAGE OF ELBRIDGE for the Fixation of Water Rates.

Water Supply Application No. 9039

SUPPLEMENTAL DECISION

February 15, 1995

Supplemental Decision of the Commissioner

On November 21, 1994, the Decision of the Commissioner was issued in the captioned matter based on a record that was developed at a hearing before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ" ) John H. Owen. Subsequently, the Villages of Elbridge and Jordan asked that the Decision be reconsidered claiming that ALJ Owen's Hearing Report contains certain errors and that there were other issues which should be addressed. ALJ Owen notified the parties that he would examine their claims and prepare an Amended Hearing Report if any issue warranted reconsideration.

In the Amended Hearing Report, ALJ Owen acknowledges that the treatment of the costs for the transmission line and for equipment repairs was not treated consistently throughout the original Hearing Report. The Amended Report corrects this problem and recalculates the water rate accordingly. This Supplemental Decision accepts the recommended change. All other issues the parties attempted to raise do not warrant reconsideration.

The Amended Hearing Report is adopted as my Supplemental Decision.

NOW, THEREFORE, having considered this matter and being duly advised it is DECIDED that:

  1. A fair and reasonable adjusted charge by the Village of Elbridge to the Village of Jordan for the 1991-1995 period shall be 3.2 per 100 cubic feet of water.
  2. This Decision supersedes my Decision of November 21, 1994.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Department of Environmental Conservation has caused this Supplemental Decision to be signed and issued and has filed the same with all maps, plans, reports, and other papers relating thereto in its office in the County of Albany, New York this 15th day of February, 1995.

For the New York State Department
of Environmental Conservation

_____________/s/_____________
By: LANGDON MARSH, COMMISSIONER

To: The Honorable Timothy Ganey
Mayor
Village of Elbridge
210 West Main Street
Box 267
Elbridge, NY 13060

The Honorable Richard Platten
Mayor
Village of Jordan
Village Hall
Jordan, NY 13080

Edward W. Lavery, Esq.
Lavery & Lavery
13 East Genesee Street
P.O. Box 104
Skaneateles, NY 13152-0104

Douglas H. Young, Esq.
Melvin & Melvin
220 S. Warren Street, 7th Floor
Syracuse, NY 13202-1686

Ms. Joanne L. March
Division of Regulatory Affairs
Region 7, NYSDEC
615 Erie Boulevard West
Syracuse, NY 13204-7400

STATE OF NEW YORK
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
50 Wolf Road
Albany, New York 12233-1550

In the Matter of

the application of the VILLAGE OF ELBRIDGE for the Fixation of Water Rates.

Water Supply Application No. 9039

AMENDED HEARING REPORT

- by -

____________/s/____________
John H. Owen
Administrative Law Judge

Proceedings

On August 25, 1993, Timothy J. Ganey, Mayor of the Village of Elbridge, acting on behalf of the Village, requested the Department to fix the water rate to be paid to the Village of Elbridge by the Village of Jordan for the transmission of water from the City of Syracuse transmission line through the Village of Elbridge transmission lines to the Village of Jordan. Following a hearing held before Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") John H. Owen, Commissioner Langdon Marsh issued a Decision on November 21, 1994 fixing the rate to be paid by the Village of Jordan to the Village of Elbridge for the period 1991-1995 at 3.5 cents per 100 cubic feet of water.

By letter to ALJ Owen dated December 8, 1994, Douglas H. Young, Esq., attorney for the Village of Jordan ("Jordan") requested that the ALJ 1) consider ruling that Jordan "...should [receive] some type of credit for the revenue that the Village of Elbridge is receiving from distributions on the [Gorham Road feeder lines]," and 2) reconsider the findings in the earlier Hearing Report concerning the allocation of 35% of the operation and maintenance costs of the storage tank and reconciling the overall allocation of 85% of the transmission line and equipment repair costs, and that the Commissioner consider amending the Decision based on the ALJ's findings.

By letter to the ALJ, dated January 13, 1995, Edward W. Lavery, Esq., attorney for the Village of Elbridge ("Elbridge"), stated that 1) Elbridge duplicated expenses under Account Code 13.3 (Repair and Maintenance - 100%) and Account Code 13.4 (Miscellaneous) leading the ALJ to believe that Elbridge purchased two time clocks within about two years and resulting in the disallowance of the second time clock (earlier Hearing Report, Page 15), 2) the Elbridge Mayor's salary was apportioned 2% to transmission in the earlier Hearing Report but 3% in the computation chart attached to that Report as Appendix B and 3) the earlier Hearing Report contains some typographical, name-spelling and other errors, concerning which Mr. Lavery attached a list.

By letter of January 13, 1995 to Mr. Young, Mr. Lavery, Ms. Joanne March (Region 7 Regulatory Affairs) and Thomas J. Fucillo, Esq. (Region 7 Regional Attorney) the ALJ stated that he proposed to prepare an Amended Hearing Report concerning the points raised and submit it for review by the Commissioner who would presumably issue an Amended Decision. The ALJ also requested that any objections to this procedure be made known "promptly". There has been no response to the ALJ's letter from anyone.

Mr. Young's Feeder Lines Matter

What Jordan is obviously seeking is some part of the bill payments made by those receiving water from the Gorham Road line diverted to Elbridge's feeder lines which run to Elbridge homes and businesses.

Yet surely Elbridge has borne all of the installation, equipment, repair and all other costs associated with the installation and maintenance of the feeder lines. Moreover, Elbridge tapping into the transmission lines does not appear to be prohibited by either the contracts or the Decision of the Commissioner referred to at Page 4 of the earlier Hearing Report.

Lastly, Elbridge pays for the water it uses and Elbridge tapping off results is no less water reaching Jordan.

Mr. Young's Water Tank Matter

Upon review of Mr. Young's request and the earlier Hearing Report, especially Appendix B of that report, I find that the transmission line and equipment repair costs for the years 1986-87, 1987,88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 as shown on the line for Account Code 12 inadvertently had been calculated at 85% instead of 35% of the tank related costs and 85% of the remainder of the costs and that the 1988-89 repair costs to the Kingston Road line had also been calculated at 85% instead of the 50% as allocated in the Report.

A revised Appendix B reflecting the 35% allocation to storage tank costs, a 50% allocation of the 1988-89 repair costs to the Kingston Road line and an 85% allocation of the remaining costs is attached to this Report. The revised Appendix B also contains recalculated values for the total transmission costs and transmission rates for the years 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90.

Using the recalculated values for the transmission rates for the years 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89 and 1989-90 and 1990-91 ( yr.) in the same fashion as in the original Hearing Report (p. 17), the average of the transmission rates for the full five years and the one-half year is:

1. 1985-86 2.186
2. 1986-87 3.419
3. 1987-88 3.372
4. 1988-89 3.086
5. 1989-90 2.740
6. 1990-91( yr.) 4.319
19.122
÷ 6
3.19

Mr. Lavery's Duplication of Expense Matter

Concerning the disallowance of one time clock (reported as two within about two years), this is not an error but a correct impression from the record as made. Elbridge did not correct this impression either at the hearing or in its post-hearing submission, and it should not be dealt with now.

Mr. Lavery's Notation of 2% versus 3% Allocated to the Mayor's Salary

The earlier Hearing Report at Page 10 fixed the transmission allocation to the Elbridge Mayor's salary (Account Code 1 - Payroll) at 2% whereas it was transposed to the computation chart at 3% across the chart. Calculation reveals that deducting $35 (from $105) per time period for the Mayor's salary would result in an average rate for the 5 years of 3.48. The earlier average was 3.49 rounded to 3.5 and 3.48 would also have been rounded to 3.5. Then too, this error would only benefit Jordan not Elbridge and Jordan has not raised it, perhaps because it is clearly subject to the age-old maxim: de minimis non-curat lex.

Mr. Lavery's Notation of Other Errors

Concerning the typographical, name-spelling and other errors noted, these are corrected in the Errata sheet attached to this Amended Report as Appendix C.

Recommendations

It is hereby recommended that the Commissioner 1) deny Jordan's request that it receive payments from Elbridge's feeder lines; 2) issue an Amended Decision which resets the rate to be paid by the Village of Jordan to the Village of Elbridge for 1991-1995 at 3.2 cents per 100 cubic feet; 3) deny adjustment for the time clock matter; 4) deny adjustment for the Elbridge Mayor's salary; and 5) amend to earlier Hearing Report nunc pro tunc pursuant to the attached Errata sheet.

APPENDIX C

ERRATA

Earlier Hearing Report

Page 1 PROCEEDINGS: 1st Paragraph, line 2, should read Timothy "J." Ganey

Page 2 PROCEEDINGS (Cont'd), 1st Paragraph,

line 8, Spelling - "Jeanette"

line 10, Spelling - "Weisskopf"

line 11, Spelling - "Lawrence"

Description of Water Sys, 2nd Paragraph,

line 6 - the intersection of "East" Main Street

Description of Water Sys, 2nd Paragraph,

line 7 - ...which carry water west along "East and" West

Main Street"s".

Description of Water Sys, 2nd Paragraph,

line 10 - Gorham Road and then north along "Jordan" Road. (No lines on Vinegar Hill Road)

Description of Water Sys, 2nd Paragraph,

line 10 - Gorham Road and run north on "Jordan" Road

Page 3 Details of the Dispute, 4th Paragraph,

line 1 - ...the "1980" contract

Page 4 Discussion of Water Sys, 1st Paragraph,

line 2 - Located on a hill [NOT Science Hill]

Page 6 Backup Functions, 2nd Paragraph,

line 2 - Add: "East and" West Main

Backup Functions, 3rd Paragraph,

line 4 - Delete: "Vinegar Hill" and replace with "Jordan"

Backup Functions, 3rd Paragraph,

line 5 - Add: "East and" West Main

Page 9 One Trustee, 1st Paragraph,

line 2 - Correct name spelling: Weisskopf

One Trustee, 1st Paragraph,

line 2 - Correct name spelling: Weisskopf

Page 18 FEE NEGOTIATION OF O&M AGREEMENT (Cont'd.)

Paragraph 3, line 4: Should read 1986-1990

FEE NEGOTIATION OF O&M AGREEMENT (Cont'd.)

Paragraph 3, lines 5 & 11: Should read 1981-1985

Page 19 FINDINGS OF FACT (Cont'd.) - Item 6

1st Paragraph, line 3: 1991-1995

Page 19 RECOMMENDATION - line 2: 1991-1995

OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE COST ALLOCATION
ACCT. ELIGIBLE
CODE ACCOUNT
1985-86 for 1st & 2nd qtrs of 1986 % CALC. 1986-87 % CALC. 1987-88 % CALC. 1988-89 % CALC. 1989-90 % CALC. 1990-91 for 3rd & 4th qtrs of 1990 % CALC.
1 PAYROLL
KING - TOTAL WAGES 3600.00 12 432 4000.00 12 480 17500.00 6 1050.00 18200.00 6 1092 19800.00 6 1188 21600.00 6 1296
1 TRUSTEE 1000.00 6 60 1000.00 6 60 1000.00 6 60 1000.00 6 60 1000.00 6 60 1000.00 6 60
MAYOR 3500.00 3 105 3500.00 3 105 3500.00 3 105 3500.00 3 105 3500.00 3 105 3500.00 3 105
CLERK - TOTAL SALARY 15000.00 1 150 15750.00 1 158 16700.00 1 167 17360.00 1 174 19000.00 1 190 20400.00 1 204
FRINGE BENEFITS 25% OF ABOVE 187 201 346 358 386 416
2 UTILITIES (100%)
2 NY TEL & NYSEG 6/85-11/86 2025.37 2 40.51 1112.32 2 22.25
2.1 NY TEL 12/86 TO PRESENT 545.14 2 10.90 581.76 2 11.64 605.82 2 12.12 746.34 2 14.93 2
2.2 NYSEG 12/86 TO PRESENT 1957.86 2 39.16 2439.20 2 48.78 2673.56 2 53.47 2565.31 2 51.31 3500.00 2 70.00
2.3 WATER FOR MUNICIPAL BUILDING 56.00 0 0 56.00 0 0 88.00 0 0 0
3 OFFICE EXPENSES 695.04 1 6.95 578.49 1 5.78 1591.81 1 15.92 1638.50 1 16.39 1470.30 1 14.70 1195.00 1 11.95
4 INSURANCE (Pd by Gen. Fund) 5400.00 1 54.00 6000.00 1 60.00 5000.00 1 50.00 4500.00 1 45.00 5000.00 1 50.00 5500.00 1 55.00
5 WATER BILLING EXPENSES 183.60 1 1.84 393.70 1 3.94 926.10 1 9.26 944.88 1 9.45 764.00 1 7.64 350.00 1 3.50
6 TRAVEL (Inc. Samples to Skan.) 191.22 4 7.65 117.80 4 4.71 117.60 4 4.70 5.88 4 .24 0 4 0 0 4
8 TAXES 1223.54 35 482.24 1218.98 35 426.64 1294.12 35 452.94 1464.79 35 512.68 1442.01 35 504.70 0 35
10.1 ENG/LEGAL: TRANSMISSION 429.59 100 429.59 3949.88 100 3949.88 470.85 100 470.85 1822.20 100 1822.20 470.20 100 470.20 1600.00 100 1600.00
12 TRANS. LINE & EQUIP. REPAIR(100%) 3188.23 85 2710.00 3183.90 68.4 2177.74 8200.34 64.7 5303.91 4289.95 54.3 2329.74 3900.16 63.6 2481.81 3600.00 85 3060.00
13 VEHICLE & EQUIP. MAIN. (100%) 52.80 6 3.17 5.71 6 .34
13.1 GASOLINE (100%) 1451.89 12 174.23 842.12 12 101.05 1266.30 6 75.98 877.21 6 52.63 1594.30 6 95.66 1300.00 6 78.00
13.2 VEHICLE PURCHASE (100%) 2863.38 12 343.61 2863.38 12 343.61 4213.38 6 252.80 4213.38 6 252.80 4213.38 6 252.80 4400.00 6 264.00
13.3 REPAIR & MAINT. (100%) 929.62 12 111.55 1588.94 12 190.67 1806.03 6 108.36 1996.27 6 119.78 2618.57 6 157.11 2200.00 6 132.00
13.4 MISCELLANEOUS 325.75 6 19.55 21.80 6 1.31 178.40 6 10.70
TOTAL TRANSMISSION COSTS 5296.17 8340.33 8555.86 7017.15 6040.56 7355.45
TOTAL PURCHASED (x 100 C2) 242,239 243,920 253,770 227,390 220,490 170,320
TRANSMISSION RATE 0.021863407 0.03419 0.03372 0.03086 0.02740 0.04319

REVISED APPENDIX B

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