Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 09.02.21

PFOA in Poestenkill, Part II

As we Poestenkill residents affected by PFOA in the groundwater of what has been known by the Town of Poestenkill to be a critical environmental area with regard to protection of groundwater since the mid-1970s wonder who put the PFOA into the groundwater in the first place, the term “dereliction of duty” comes readily to mind, which term refers to failure, through negligence or obstinacy, to perform one’s legal or moral duty to a reasonable expectation, which takes us to depraved indifference, which is when the actions of public officials show an utter disregard for the value of human life, exhibiting a willingness to act, not because they intend to cause harm but because they do not care if their actions will result in harm, with their conduct so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime, which takes us to § 220-1 of the Code of the Town of Poestenkill, which chapter may be known and cited as the “Municipal Water Use Law of the Town of Poestenkill,” which takes us to § 220-2, Authority and purpose, where in A, it states “This chapter is enacted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law of the State of New York,” and in section B: “Further, the purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town.” Given the fact of PFOA in our groundwater, it is now patently clear that the Town of Poestenkill failed miserably to do its duty to the Town residents in the Algonquin school area plus all the children who attend that school to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town. Clearly, a ball has been dropped here or that PFOA would not now be in the groundwater, and we now want answers, not empty political slogans such as our water continues to be acceptable for all uses.

Paul Plante, Poestenkill

Troy Sand and Gravel Wants 2 Million Dollar Cut In Property Taxes

In response to a recent Times Union article, Troy Sand and Gravel is again suing the Town of Sand Lake. This time, they want to reduce their assessed tax value from $2.8 million to $800,000. For decades, Troy Sand & Gravel has reaped the benefits from the exploitation and removal of our natural resources. This company has decimated hundreds of acres, leaving most of the land unusable for other purposes. They now believe they should pay less in taxes? If Troy Sand & Gravel is successful, residents should know that their tax burden will be passed on to us to pay for their share of town, county, fire and school district taxes.

As a resident of West Sand Lake, we are already paying a heavy price. Neighbors deal daily with the impacts of mining – cracks in foundations and interior home walls, dynamite blast reverberations, truck noise, continuous traffic, visible clouds of heavy dust in the air, homes covered in filth, and the frequent pungent smells of asphalt being processed.

At the same time they are suing the Town of Sand Lake for a reduction in taxes, Troy Sand & Gravel is seeking permission from the State to mine an additional 100 feet below the water table. If they are successful, residents should be very concerned about decreasing well-water levels, contamination, plummeting property values and the negative effects on health and well-being.

Troy Sand & Gravel needs to be a responsible business. They need to begin to reclaim and restore the land they have destroyed whether or not their mine pre-dates the NYS Mined Land Reclamation Act. Most people recognize that we need mined products for local construction purposes. However, improving what they’ve damaged, working hard to minimize the negative impacts they’ve cause our community and paying their fair share in taxes would go a long way in demonstrating goodwill.

Shawntell Mills-Sanchez

Resident of West Sand Lake

No more taxpayer dollars should be spent on Barnes Road Decision

The Barnes Road Area Neighborhood Association fought in vain to convince the Sand Lake Planning Board to vote against approving a special use permit for a party barn on Barnes Road.  The Planning Board voted to approve the permit despite around thirty neighbors writing in opposition and dozens more with yard signs against the party barn.

The Neighborhood Association petitioned the State Supreme Court to reverse the decision.  The court ruled in the Association’s favor.  The court said: “the Board abdicated its responsibilities as lead agency on Bailey’s application — instead accepting without question the unsupported and self-serving representations reached by Bailey and his expert…”

“Other legitimate concerns which were not sufficiently addressed by the Board or the petitioner include the Town’s enforcement of the restrictions placed upon the special use permit. Accordingly, the Court finds that the Board’s review of the special event venue was incomplete, arbitrary, and contrary to the requirements of SEQRA. It was granted without substantial evidence to indicate that its use was compatible with the nature of the rural agricultural community surrounding it.”

The judge also noted the approval was inconsistent with the Town’s Comprehensive Plan.

The Judge made clear that the Town will have to pay for noise and traffic reviews and responsibly address resident concerns about enforcement that were totally ignored in the approval.

The Town nevertheless voted to authorize $5,000 of taxpayer money to appeal the decision.

The litigation will not stop at an outlay of $5,000.  This will drag on and cost the Town much, much more.

So why is the Town of Sand Lake going with the applicant, and against their own Comprehensive Plan, and the rural agricultural nature of Barnes Road?

Pat Sikora, West Sand Lake

Safer streets in North Greenbush

Before the September 2021 North Greenbush Town Council meeting, there will be a hearing for a local law. This local law relates to lowering the speed limit on East Ave. I support this proposed law. I am glad that we are examining the speed limit on this road and hopefully the town will reduce it to increase the safety of the residents as well as the students at Garnder-Dickinson. I support efforts to make North Greenbush safe for all residents and visitors.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

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