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Monday, March 24, 2008

Weathering the Storm...

Late afternoon on March 8, 2008 Mud Creek is over the banks and will still rise higher before all is said and done. The bottom rung of the playhouse ladder is approximately 8 inches off the ground and the water was just under the rung around 9:30 p.m. that evening.

Another picture from Royal Brook Lane taken late afternoon on March 8, 2008. In the background you can see Consumer Square. Melting snow and stormwater run-off from Commercial Drive contribute to the major flooding these residents experience every spring.

Picture taken on March 9, 2008 - the day after the flooding. Temperatures plummeted and the residents were left with a sheet of ice covering their backyard.

Again, taken the day after the flooding. You will notice that the water that was about 8 inches deep froze creating almost 8 inches of ice in this backyard.

The day after...notice that the creek is still well above normal and fast-flowing.

This picture was taken in the same spot on a beautiful sunny day last Fall. Notice how high the bank of Mud Creek is and imagine how much water it would take before the creek even overflows to say nothing of how much water to flood the backyards and basements of the residents on Royal Brook Lane.

Obviously, this is only one area in town that desperately needs to be addressed. The March 25, 2008 Observer Dispatch had several articles on the stormwater debacle in the Town of New Hartford...a year after the approval for the $2 million bond to fix stormwater problems.

According to one of the articles, Town Planner Kurt Schwenzfeir was quoted as saying... “But obviously small projects that can only address so much,” Schwenzfeir said. “Administration changes and priorities change.” Concerned Citizens suggests that perhaps it is time that this administration get their priorities in order...fixing problems for residents that were created by developers should be Priority No. 1...residents shouldn't be required to pay to fix problems for developers.

According to the one of today's Observer Dispatch articles:
In the early 1990s, the town bonded to fix the issue, but only a part of that money was spent, officials said.
Obviously, the town officials were misquoted...what it should have said was that all the money from that bond was spent, but only a part of the money was spent for actual stormwater solutions...the rest was used for other things like stormwater studies, piping ditches and overtime pay for the Highway Dept.

If you have stormwater problems or just have an opinion, we now have a new poll on the menu at the left. Let us know what you think...who will get their stormwater problems fixed with the $2 million stormwater bond in the Town of New Hartford?


Anonymous said...

(Insert ice-skating joke here)

I notice how long it has taken before we saw any real mention of this condition in the "Obsver Disatch"! Wow.

Your images do a lot to graphically show what these people have to go through. My sister is an attorney in NYC, I showed her these pics and the first thing she said is "Downstate we'd sue this town's ass off and go for the store too, once they see what the legal bills will be they'll FIND the money to fix this." What about these homeowners finding an attorney and filing a class action against NH and Consumer Square?

It's clear to us that this wasn't happeneing there PRIOR to the development. I'd buy a few pumps and start pumping that water right back into their parking lots, we'll see how fast they act when their mechandise is flooded. The cops can't tell you to stop but in NH they'd certainly try to shoot off their mouths at you.

Too bad when you "call the media" or "call your congressman" you're getting the friends of the people at fault on the phone.

They don't care: NH LIED to all of you back when they got duped into "consumer square" (What an appropos names!) They promised us the world but all we've got is more sprawl, higher taxes and more arrogance in office to thank for it all.

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

The residents on Royal Brook Lane as well as other town residents were sold a "bill of goods" last March when they voted for the $2 million bond.

Pictures of Mud Creek and other areas were used to justify the bonding and get the needed votes and yet none of the areas shown in their slide presentation will even be addressed with this money.

Pretty sad when the only recourse may very well be to sue the town. Wonder how Earle Reed would feel if that was his backyard?

Anonymous said...

Who was the developer and contractors for this project? I just want to know so we can hold up their wonderful track record next time they try to get a gravy-train deal. These people are a certian fit for the upcoming Utica Schools project: They lie and use shoddy design but do it so well they get told "yes" everytime.

Anonymous said...

"Downstate we'd sue this town's ass off and go for the store too, once they see what the legal bills will be they'll FIND the money to fix this."

Up where, we just form a political action watch-dog group and cry about the problems. Litigation and problem solving is not their top priority, crying and whining is!

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

Anonymous #3,

Please don't take this the wrong way because we mean it in the nicest way possible...

We have provided all the facts...if litigation and problem solving are such top priorities for you...please by all means go ahead, we don't mind.

It is amazing how you use the word "we"...just who is we anyway...everyone but yourself? Whining and we choose to say that we are making the information available publicly. Informed residents make better choices come election time and that is really the only way the problem will get solved!

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that if you're going to dig up dirt, and you have all this information that is capable of putting the town back in its place, and do nothing with it but blog, you're no different than the corruption you claim to want to eradicate.

Seriously, if I was sitting on a pile of information proving town officials wilfully violate state law at their whim, I'd be the first to file grievances, complaints, and pursue litigation.

What do you do when you have a votership with a majority of it eating out of town officials' pockets? No change will come from informing them any different. Why cut off your own money lines? Seriously, how many of them bought their houses from billy virkler? How many of them have received favors from town officials for their continued support? How many attorneys in new hartford have town officials to thank for business thrown their way?!

If I was eating out of their pockets, I too would re-elect the same officials, and dismiss this organization's commentary as hot air.

I mean that in the nicest way possible too...

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


That is most of the problem in this town for sure. There are too many eating out of the "public trough". That is why it is imperative that us "common folk" band together and make sure to vote. We have put the "cog in their wheels" many times. The problem is you never hear about it because the Observer Dispatch does nothing. We send the OD articles, FOILed information, agreements, etc. and they never print it. However, when the publisher is married to a member of the town planning board who happens to be a relative of the town clerk, etc., etc...I think they call it "political incest".

We hate to toot our horn, but if you think it is bad now, imagine if we weren't here keeping an eye and reporting to you.

Some day, I will post information as to just how much time a day the town and school spend reading our blog and our websites. I've even let them know that because they are considered a business their name actually shows up in our statistics...they just can't help themselves...they have to read us.

Don't ever think that we are not having an impact and making them think twice.

Everyone who reads our blog should take a minute and let their thoughts be known by sending their comments to our blog. Believe us, the town board and the school are reading. We have given everyone a forum, we are providing information that ordinarily would not be readily available...everyone has a stake in this. We welcome any and all comments.

Anonymous said...

This is a load of hot air! Give me all the information you have about the sewage, and storm-water runoff. If you lack the ***** to do anything with it, I assure you I have the ***** to file suit! It's time you put your money where your mouth is. Or, put it into the hands of people who do not fear taking the proper action to fulfill the same goals you preach about acheiving, but fail miserably in doing!!!

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


Pardon us for editing your post a little, but we thought people reading would get the message anyway.

We would be happy to give you everything we have...unfortunately you did not leave an email address so we have no way of contacting you.

If you would care to write to us at, I am sure we could work out getting the information to you.

You might also want to ask just what steps we have taken so far...I think you might be very surprised.

Please by all means contact us...we would be grateful for any help you can provide. In fact, at this point we would be glad to put the whole thing in your lap.