The latest round in the contentious battle between the Mohawk Valley Water Authority and NYS Canal Corporation over Hinckley Reservoir's water levels goes to the Canal Corporation.
"The real issue is not did they make an agreement to maintain a water level. They did. The issue is, what are the exceptions and when do they apply? The court said that's too ambiguous for us to decide without having any testimony," says attorney Mark Wolber, explaining the Appellate Division Fourth Department's recent ruling.
MVWA Executive Director Patrick Becher says the authority and Canal Corp. agreed that the Canal Corp. would maintain a minimum water level of 1,195 feet above sea level, except in conditions of extreme drought. Becher is confident the state is well aware of what they agreed to.
"Position of the Canal Corporation was that it was simply a guideline and not an actual requirement, which we found pretty startling, considering we almost walked out of negotiations several times over that exact point," says Becher.
Becher says that now the authority's board of directors will consult with their attorneys on whether or not to pursue further legal action.