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OXBOW POWER SUES N. TONAWANDA OVER FEES FOR WATER, SEWER

Oxbow Power Co. of North Tonawanda has filed a lawsuit against the city, contending that it has been overcharged for water and sewer service to its Erie Avenue co-generation plant.

The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Niagara Falls, contends that the city overbilled Oxbow by $182,924 in service fees and penalties for water consumption from July 1, 1993, through last June 3. Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Wood & Goodyear, attorneys for Oxbow, said that in computing the fees, the city violated the method prescribed by the City Code and the verbal understanding between the parties.

Oxbow reportedly made three offers to settle the claim against the city in the last eight months, but the Common Council -- in 3-2 votes each time -- has refused to accept.

Oxbow last offered a onetime payment of $45,000, and $30,000 per year thereafter, regardless of how much water is used.

Oxbow says it paid $31,308 in sewer-service fees in 1993, $30,000 in 1994, and $7,500 this year. Actual consumption would cost about $9,000 per year, according to the company, which is seeking a refund from the city.

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