PASSAIC, NJ (AP) — The owner of a 96-unit apartment building in New Jersey has agreed to pay $150,000 for 20 years of water and sewer service.

The settlement was reached after nearly two years of negotiations between Gregory Realty LLC and the Passaic Valley Water Commission. The commission had sought $1.6 million, but agreed to settle for less after its attempt to collect interest was rebuffed.

The apartment building received millions of gallons of water from 1989 until 2009. It was never billed because the meter didn’t work and meter readers never discovered the problem.

Commission Executive Director Joseph Bella told The Record newspaper he’s disappointed with the settlement.

Bella says the utility is trying to determine if there are other customers receiving free service.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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