Goshen, NY – Seven towns and villages could soon be drawn into a court fight over the use of new capacity at the expanded Orange County sewage treatment plant in Harriman.
Kiryas Joel brought the lawsuit this year to stop the county from selling capacity to the so-called Moodna communities — a handful of municipalities outside the county sewer district that pay to use the plant.
Kiryas Joel sued only the county at first, but it filed papers that would bring the towns of Monroe, Woodbury, Chester and Blooming Grove and the village of Chester into the case. Also named are the new villages of Woodbury and South Blooming Grove.
Kiryas Joel Administrator Gedalye Szegedin said that the village doesn’t want to sue its neighbors, but might have to because the county has argued that the Moodna communities are “necessary parties.”
“We don’t believe that we should be in court with those communities,” he said. “We don’t believe that they should suffer and have to pay legal costs.”
The county has asked state Supreme Court Justice Joseph Owen to dismiss the suit for failing to name the Moodna communities as respondents.
Kiryas Joel’s new papers would correct that problem — and propel the other towns and villages into court — if the judge agrees.
If Owen disagrees, Kiryas Joel will withdraw the new papers, Szegedin said.
The suit revolves around a recent $26 million expansion of the sewer plant. Kiryas Joel contends the county had no right to sell new space to the Moodna communities; the county argues their contract entitled them to a share. [Record]