Through the years, I had made contact with town highway personnel. My complaint(s) fell on deaf ears. What initially became a nuisance became more of a dangerous situation because not only of the depth of the water running its northerly course but the fact that the current was so strong that small children playing in the backyards could easily have been washed away by the current and drowned.
Roger Cleveland has known about this problem and knew too, that a diversion culvert repeatedly needed cleaning to handle this runoff water. However, Mr. Cleveland did not feel it was worth his time and effort to remove the large amounts of debris which was blocking the water receptacle and consequently causing huge amounts of water runoff to run down my neighbors Sylvan Glen Road backyards and cross onto/over Pleasant Street to continue a journey into the backyards of the homes of people living on the Utica Parkway. I did learn when reading Town minutes that the town did pay the City of Utica between $7-10,000 or more to assist with the drainage/runoff problems caused by the Town Highway Engineer’s negligence.
In July 2006, the area experienced rainstorms which repeated the events of prior years only lasting longer, deeper runoffs and much more damage than had ever been incurred before. In fact, I filed a Notice of Claim against the town seeking unspecified damages. The Town turned my claim over to their “insurance” carrier, however, I recently found out that their insurance carrier is not licensed to practice in New York State. I have since filed a complaint with the New York State Insurance Department who is investigating this matter and may take legal action against parties that appear culpable in this matter.
Ironically, the Town’s $2 million Storm Water Bonding Proposal fails to make any mention whatsoever about my water runoff problem and doubt if the Town is genuinely concerned with any of the town resident’s water problems. This Bond proposal simply does not pass the “smell” test.
Gerry Green the town attorney recently came to the Board and solicited approval to one of my neighbors situated on Beckwith Circle for water damaged property because of the Town’s on-going negligence. My neighbor failed to file a Notice of Claim within the mandated ninety (90) days period, however, Mr. Green “persuaded” the Board Members to approve an illegal payment for the damages sustained. Mr. Green knew this to be an illegal payment of Town monies but “argued” with Town Officials to make the payment for damages sustained.
The moral of the above story is not what you know, but WHO YOU KNOW!
Signed: Edmund J. Wiatr, Jr.
Thank you, Ed! Here are two pictures sent to me by Ed Wiatr.
Stormwater problems in the Town of New Hartford are everyone’s problem. However, it is not the responsibility of every taxpayer to continually fund “fixes” that don’t work or never happen. There is no doubt that those homeowners that have serious stormwater problems need to have their problems addressed.
According to Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland, some homeowner’s stormwater problems can’t be fixed. Mr. Cleveland, why not let those residents know that you can’t fix their problems and tell them why. At the informational meetings you kept saying you have a plan, let’s see this “plan”. What problems will you be able to fix and how much will the “fixes” cost? WHEN will these problems be fixed? Give us a timeline for addressing each of the problems. Account for the $2 million in bonding, Mr. Cleveland because taxpayers have a right to know how you plan to spend their money.
At the August 16, 2006 Town Board meeting Supervisor Reed indicated that he didn’t know how the town will proceed.
(Excerpt from the August 16, 2006 Town Board Minutes in regards to concerns raised by residents who experienced stormwater problems during the July storms.)
Supervisor Reed stated that these are complex questions and the Town does not have a quick answer. The Town is looking at a GEIS. Councilman Waszkiewicz explained to those present what a GEIS entails.Complex questions and the Town does not have a quick answer?—Well, apparently they found one, because 3 weeks later they had a signed agreement with Paravoti, Karl, Green & DeBella (Town Attorney Gerald Green's law firm) and plans are underway to bond for $2 million. They even wasted no time in passing a Stormwater Policy.
If you are a resident of the Town of New Hartford and you have a stormwater problem and want to let everyone know about it, please email us at New Hartford, N.Y. Online and we will post the information on our blog. Include the area and as much information as possible, along with attaching pictures. Also give some history, including the number of times you have asked the Highway Dept. to help you, etc. We all have to work together in order to get the results we all would like to see!
Please read our previous post for more on the Stormwater bonding. Also, be sure to read our other "eye-opening" blogs from the past couple of weeks. We have more--we have done our homework--stay tuned!