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Illegal housing case for Owasco farmer adjourned pending fine determination

The case against an Owasco dairy farmer cited for illegally housing workers in substandard conditions was again adjourned Monday, this time in order for a possible fine structure to be considered.

Melrose Farms owner Joseph Tidd, who was cited in September for illegally housing workers in a now-condemned structure after he was previously issued a cease-and-desist order, had his case in Owasco Town Court adjourned until Nov. 26.

Attorney Andrew Leja, representing the town, told Justice Mark DiVietro that the town was seeking to recover from Tidd the costs of enforcement of his case, specially Leja’s counsel fees.

Leja said he had spoken with Tidd about reimbursing the town for his services, and suggested the court take that into consideration when issuing a final decision.

To that end, Leja requested additional time to finalize his fees and determine if Tidd is willing to pay them as a fine.

Prior to granting the adjournment, DiVietro asked Tidd, as well as town Code Enforcement Officer J. Patrick Doyle, if the court’s order to either fix or tear down the structure had been followed.

“It’s done,” Tidd said, with Doyle confirming that heating, plumbing, electric and septic systems had all been removed and that the town was satisfied the structure would no longer be used for habitation.

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