Why he should negotiate

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

This explains why I believe I should be on the Penn Yan negotiating team with Jerusalem. My experiences include:

• In 1992, Ned Breuer, Ed Bolger and I were on the Municipal Utilities Board (MUB) that began all negotiations on water and sewer contracts with other local governments. I understand the contracts and where the Village of Penn Yan has not pursued all the monies owed.

• Horizon Business Park — Million dollar federal grant with other monies coming from the town of Milo, Yates County, and the village of Penn Yan to complete the project that also improved water and storm water infrastructure in East Main Street South Avenue portion of the village.

• $2.2 million sewage treatment plant project that the DPW managed, at 80 percent completion the board paid the contractor in full, but $600,000 was still owed to the subcontractors and suppliers by the contractor. The project was halted. I insisted on becoming involved. Everyone got paid in full and no extra money was paid by Penn Yan. The project was completed.

• Negotiated new water treatment plant a $5.5 million project that included Penn Yan, Dresden, Milo and Jerusalem. The project came in under budget and on time. The building won an award in an architectural engineering magazine for its appearance. This project only cost the village of Penn Yan $1.5 million, and the local governments received federal grants to cover their share. Without my negotiating, the village of Penn Yan would have had to pay the whole $5.5 million. Penn Yan currently only bears the burden of 50 percent of operating costs with the balance being shared by the other governments.

• The current MUB negotiating team has negotiated a deal with the town of Pulteney that actually has the village of Penn Yan being paid less for the water than Pulteney is paying to use the Jerusalem pipes to get the water.

• MUB has reduced the amount that Dresden pays for their allotted amount of water. Nobody thought to reduce the amount of water that is covered in that bill.

• Jerusalem stopped paying for sewer in 2007. There is money that is owed to the village of Penn Yan.

• The village of Penn Yan is billing Jerusalem incorrectly for sewer and there are portions of Jerusalem being served outside of contracted areas. If this is only $30,000 per year, this could cost the village of Penn Yan up to a million dollars over the life of the contract.

• The electric rates that were established 16 years ago are still in place.

The matter with Jerusalem needs to be settled in a fair manner that takes us forward with a solid agreement for the future.

I have been successfully negotiating for over 30 years. It is how I made my living.

Robert B. Hoban

Penn Yan