the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, at Wednesday nights Village Council Meeting the Village council was expected to leave unchanged water rates going back to 2010 that were invalidated by a Superior Court judge last year in response to a lawsuit by the three neighboring towns. The towns, which are customers of village-owned Ridgewood Water, allege they were being overcharged.
In July, Superior Court Judge Lisa Perez Friscia ruled in favor of Wyckoff, Midland Park and Glen Rock, which are served by Ridgewood Water and had sued the village over rate increases between 2010 and 2012. The three municipalities argued that Ridgewood Water was using the excess fees to cover unrelated operating costs for the village. The judge, in her ruling, called Ridgewood Water’s rate hikes arbitrary, and told the village to recalculate the charges.
Ridgewood complied an in December Howard Woods, a consultant hired by the Village to recalculate the correct rates, released a 247-page “initial report” , stating that customers were instead undercharged for their water usage during the first two years covered in the lawsuit. An appeal by Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff of the July decision is pending. Beyond a recalculation of rates, the towns seek $13.4 million in refunds and $3.6 million in damages.
At Wednesday nights council meeting , there was a decision to delay action on the two ordinances by the Village Council . Representatives from the other three towns took to the lectern to lecture and attempt to pressure the Village Council for what they felt was a bold disregard for justice. The ugly reality for Glen Rock, Midland Park and Wyckoff is that the Judges ruling stuck the three towns with huge court costs .