Owasco farmer who illegally housed workers reimburses town

Joseph Tidd, the owner of Melrose Farms in Owasco, reimbursed the town this week for attorney fees spent litigating his citations for illegally housing workers, according to Owasco Town Supervisor Ed Wagner.

The town first cited Tidd in February for a code violation after housing migrant workers on his dairy farm in a structure without a certificate of occupancy or a permit to be built.

Despite the town issuing a cease and desist order, Tidd was found in September to still be housing workers in the structure, which one worker described in a letter as being rife with cockroaches, mice, exposed electrical wiring and other hazards.

Since then, Tidd has been in Owasco Town Court several times to address the violation. While a scheduled appearance this Monday was adjourned, Tidd subsequently provided the town with a check for $3,256 to cover its attorney fees, Wagner said.

“As the town supervisor, I’m happy the taxpayers are not going to be footing the bill for legal expenses for Mr. Tidd,” Wagner said.

The payment joins a $500 fine issued Tuesday by the Cayuga County Board of Health for a septic violation at the same structure.

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