According to a New York Post article published this past Sunday, March 16, 2008, various Roosevelt Island accounts owe NYC a total of $418,000 in water bills. The biggest Roosevelt Island offenders according to the Post are the RI Racquet Club and the Sports Complex owing a combined $146,000. The article also claims the Tram restroom facilities owe $20,000 alone. Who knew the bathrooms were open that much to even run up a bill of $20,000.
Somehow the knowledge that we are surrounded by water and that island establishments reportedly owe NYC for back water bills seems a bit nutty. Certainly the idea that a State run facility such as Sports Park owing NYC money seems unlikely much less the bills owed for the tram toilets.
According to Stephen Shane, RIOC President, orphan meters are to blame. "The sports complex had its meter changed many years ago" Shane explained "and the City did not make the change in its records, continuing to accrue charges to a nonexistent meter".
According to the article, NYC plans to sell the tax liens this coming May for these late bills unless the accounts are cleaned up within the next two months. So if a buyer purchases these tax liens the entities will now owe the buyer the base lien plus interest at 18%. Shane stated that RIOC's Engineering Department has been investigating the problem and I presume RIOC and the Racquet Club have been fighting the City's water bills.