Saturday, March 8, 2008

Stormwater...

Tonight we received a call from residents on Royal Brook Lane regarding the rising stormwater from Mud Creek.

If you recall, last Fall we blogged about the stormwater problems on Royal Brook Lane. On one of our previous blogs where we mentioned the problems on Royal Brook Lane we received a comment from "Anonymous"...the comment was:
...the village of NYM has contracted to correct the sewer problems and that the flooding has nothing to do with the town of NH.
Our response to "Anonymous" after several visits to Royal Brook Lane to talk to the residents and after visiting them this evening:
Dear Anonymous,

Tonight we once again visited the residents on Royal Brook Lane and took a videotape of their supposed "sewer problems". Funny, the pictures we posted online last Fall, and the water we videotaped tonight both appear to be coming from Mud Creek not from a sewer problem.

Anonymous, would you like to visit the people on Royal Brook Lane who probably voted "yes" for the $2 million stormwater bond thinking that their problem would be fixed and tell them that their problem has nothing to do with the Town of New Hartford, but we are adding the cost to your tax bill anyway?

Anonymous, we hope that you will stay tuned, because we will be posting our video shortly! Apparently, you are not as informed as YOU would like to believe!

Sincerely,
Concerned Citizens for Honest & Open Government
Al Swierczak, the Village of New York Mills Engineer also visited Royal Brook Lane tonight to see the water in the backyards of these residents and was "speechless" when asked how he would feel if this was occurring in his backyard.

Regarding the $2 million stormwater bond, we would like to share a couple of pieces of information we obtained through the FOIL process. On September 5, 2007, the town took out a Bond Anticipation Note for $1,207,800...not sure why it wasn't for $2 million and why it wasn't a serial bond like the town board resolution implied it would be; the town board didn't need to pass a resolution subject to permissive referendum if they were planning to BAN for the money. Maybe the Adverse Opinion Letter from Barone, Howard & Co. for the 2006 Financial Statement had something to do with the BAN...it is difficult to sell a bond with an adverse opinion. Also, according to records we obtained through the FOIL process, as of December 31, 2007, $10,824.90 of the BAN money had been spent...we would assume on yet another "stormwater study". If you have stormwater problems and you voted "yes" for the $2 million bond, do you still feel confident that your problem will be resolved?

Have stormwater problems? Our offer still stands...we will post pictures of any stormwater problems in the Town of New Hartford.

As a side note, we were having audio problems with the videotape for the February 27, 2008 town board meeting. The audio has now been fixed and the video is available for viewing. About 17 minutes into the video, Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland gives an update on the latest Stormwater Advisory Committee Meeting that they shut the public out of last Fall.

To be continued...

4 comments:

Strikeslip said...

What about all those "Fees In Lieu of Mitigation" that the Town has collected from the Developers to mitigate their environmental impacts?

Instead of using them to mitigate impacts (like flooding), the Town proposes to use them to widen Woods Road to accommodate ANOTHER developer.

The Residents ... well, let them vote along with all the other taxpayers for another storm water bond issue that will fund a lot of studies and maybe be used to mitigate runoff from . . . some other new development . . . and if that isn't good enough, they can always buy sandbags.

ARRGGHH!

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

Strikeslip,

That was the exact same question we asked of Al Swierczak last night. What about all the Fees in Lieu of Mitigation. Again, Mr. Swierczak was "speechless".

The residents on Royal Brook Lane have done nothing to cause the flooding yet it is costing them many dollars to replace items lost not only in their yards, but in their basements and family rooms as well. The cause is all the development along Commercial Drive. We keep referring to the letter of July 25, 2007 that Roger Cleveland sent to Mayor Maciol. Quote..."starting with the Sangertown Square project in the 1970's, each and every economic development project has undergone scrutiny by the Planning Board as regards stormwater management. In each case, state of the art stormwater management design was required of the developers. Individually, each project conforms to those designs, yet collectively something else has happened to at least make it appear that the designs don't function, or at least don't function sufficiently to attentuate downstream flooding.

Well, DUH...we do believe that it more than "appears" that the designs don't work...just ask the residents on Royal Brook Lane.

Strikeslip said...

If the individual plans of the developers are "state of the art" and yet do not work together, then either the TOWN's GEIS is defective, or the Town did not require the developers to assess "cumulative impacts" -- which assessment is required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

Either case points to TOWN INCOMPETENCE when it comes to protecting the environment.

Anonymous said...

Strikeslip.

Point taken, however, where is the Town Attorney, Jerry Green in these matters? Is he too, INCOMPETENT?