Oneida Mayor Jack E. Lay says the town's water department must continue to focus on collections and past-due customer accounts, but also stressed that the town's board of aldermen — which doubles as its water board — needs to focus on potential fee increases in the months ahead.

Meeting for the second time since voting to disband the previous water board and take on the responsibility themselves, the board of aldermen on Thursday heard a lengthy update from the mayor on the status of the water department.

Lay said that the focus thus far has been on communications between his office and the water department employees, while there has also been a focus on bringing insurance for water department personnel under the same Blue Cross/Blue Shield umbrella as other city employees — which he said has resulted in a cost savings of five percent on premiums.

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