Plugging the leaks of change

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New initiatives, no matter how celebrated and successful, often come with growing pains. Look no further than the North County Water District.

Now online and providing water to areas west of the city of Dunkirk, there is an issue with billing that ultimately comes down to communication. Town of Dunkirk officials, at right, earlier this month noted they were being held responsible for bills not paid to the city by town residents.

Many at the town’s board table were not happy about the situation that evening. But town attorney Jeff Passafaro attempted to stem the anger. “The problem is you have a contract to buy water from the city,” he said. “The district is going to be held responsible and you’re in the transition of the city to north county, this is one of the cleanup items so that north county starts fresh.”

Not to be outdone, city of Dunkirk elected officials then got their dander up after reading complaints from town officials — which is what makes getting things done in Chautauqua County almost impossible. Everyone believes they need to protect their turf at no matter what the cost.

But the partnership for the future of this district is important. And, once the issue of overdue bills have been settled, we hope this becomes just water under a bridge.


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