We have obtained three (3) letters through the FOIL process that everyone should read regarding the problems at the Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station:
1) Letter dated March 20, 1997 - From John Sandwick, Jr., D.E.C. Environmental Analyst I to Jane Brouillette who was Town of New Hartford Planner at the time. In part, this letter says:
The connection of yet another 141 dwelling units (Applewood) to the wastewater system tributary to the Oneida County Sewer District's Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station will continue to compound the severity of the wet weather flow condition at the station. In his January 7, 1997 letter, Commissioner Steven Devan outlined the sewer district's program for correcting the problem.2) At one point in the video, Co-Founder of Concerned Citizens, Edmund J. Wiatr, Jr., holds up a letter; that letter was dated January 7, 1997 from Stevan Devan, Commissioner to Mr. James F. Lutz, Regional Engineer D.E.C. The Town Supervisor gave the letter to Mr. Devan to verify it was sent by him; Mr. Devan read the letter, but never replied or verified that he sent it. However, it is on Oneida County Department of Water Quality and Water Pollution Control letterhead and has Mr. Devan's signature.
Here is a portion of the letter; but we hope that everyone will take the time to read this letter in its entirety:
I thought it was important to update you as to the progress being made in addressing the wet weather flow problems at the Sauquoit Creek Pumping Station.
...preliminary work has been progressing. However, at this point in time, I am unable to give you a firm schedule as requested in your letter. I need to gather more information before I can commit to a schedule.
There is no real handle on where the excess flows are coming from. However, money should be spent on solving the problem rather than studying it in a minute detail.
I would anticipate that this year would be spent finalizing the project plan and getting the municipalities involved to commit to the plan.
3) The third letter dated January 16, 1997 is from Roger Cleveland, who was town engineer during this timeframe, to John Sandwick, Jr., D.E.C. Environmental Analyst I. It says in part:
...the writer has met with Commissioner Devan to address a collective effort between the represented Towns and the County to address the issue of excess I/I. Out of this meeting came a commitment by the Commissioner...to identify some initial steps that the County Sewer District and its member communities could take to begin addressing this issue.
Specifically, as it pertains to the Town of New Hartford, monies have been budgeted for fiscal year 1997 to commence investigation and remediation efforts on our own. An additional commitment of $10,000 has been made by the private sector to assist the Town in this matter. We look forward to the Spring of '97 to begin.Fast forward to 2010; we have posted the portion of the January 27, 2010 town board meeting and the Consent Order discussion between the town board, Steve Devan, Roger Cleveland and Peter Rayhill on our website.
Watch the videotape to hear how they still don't know exactly how to proceed, or what fixes will be done with the $1.05 per 1,000 gallons of water fee they are collecting. Watch as they dance around when Town Supervisor Pat Tyksinski tries to get them to address how much of New Hartford's fixes will be done with the money that is being collected from the Town of New Hartford.
Now look at who was copied on each of the above three (3) 1997 letters; the scary part is that some of the same people are now involved with the Consent Order fixes. These letters are dated 13 years ago and they still don't have any answers as to how, when & where the work will be done!
In a related story:
We read with interest the Observer Dispatch story, Firm closing, Madden Concrete owner blames town policies...Says development, and thereby need for concrete, way down regarding the closing of Madden Concrete in the Village of New Hartford. Mr. Madden's sign caught our attention one day last September while we were in the area and we decided to photograph it.
Strikeslip already wrote a blog on this subject, N.H's Concrete Blues & Shoes...
We couldn't have said it any better ourselves, Strikeslip!