PFOA Saga – It took a town
What makes Poestenkill unique in terms of the groundwater contamination affecting the children at Algonquin school is that in 1995, given a clear choice to have it be otherwise, the people of Poestenkill, by an overwhelming majority, chose this future of contaminated drinking water those schoolchildren now have, and the undisputable proof of that statement is found in our official town records in a 22 April 1996 letter to Hon. Michael J. Novack, Clerk, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, re: Appeal No. 75470, from then-town attorney Patrick Tomaselli whose shrine for those who worship his memory sits outside Poestenkill town hall on its “Walk of Heros,” to wit:
4. Significantly, it must be noted that all five members of the current Town Board are different from those who served on the former Town Board which had filed the underlying Petition (Poestenkill v DEC) herein on or about July 28, 1993.
Further, the fact that all former Town Board members have been replaced by the local electorate is attributable in no small part to the fact that the new members embrace different philosophies and attitudes on many issues, including unnecessary involvement in expensive and time-consuming litigation.
Those “current Board members” in 1996 whose philosophy was quite different from that of their immediate predecessors included now-supervisor Keith Hammond, the pro-polluter, pro-retaliation, anti-law and order candidate recently re-elected by the biggest landslide in Poestenkill history.
As to Town of Poestenkill v. DEC, it was an Article 78 filed in Albany County Supreme Court in June of 1992 by the Town of Poestenkill on behalf of the town residents to challenge the issuance of fraudulent permits by DEC in Poestenkill.
In 1996, by the will of the people, that challenge to DEC corruption in Poestenkill was dropped and thanks to them, here we now are with water not fit to drink or water hogs with.
Paul Plante, Poestenkill
Still Say No to Party Barn
There is a renewed effort to build a party barn on Barnes Road after the proposal was shot down in court. Barnes road is a twisty little two lane byway lined with farms and single family homes.
In 2006, the Town of Sand Lake issued a comprehensive plan that was supposed to guide how the town would develop in the future. It also specified areas where development was not to be encouraged.
Barnes Road is zoned Agricultural/Residential. According to the plan “This area encompasses the majority of the active farms and good soil in the Town. The retention of farmland and low density residential uses in this area is encouraged in this plan.”
The creation of a nuisance facility like a party barn goes directly against the plan’s intent. To build the party facility, which would change the character of the neighborhood, requires a zoning variance. It requires a variance because the additional traffic, noise, congestion, environment impact, and disruption of farm work would seriously degrade the standard of living for everybody in the area except the people making money at their neighbors’ expense. Neighbors have overwhelmingly opposed this project.
There is no valid reason for the Town to do anything except oppose the variance.
Jack and Laura Schreiner, West Sand Lake
Town Should Not Appeal Court Decision
So here we are again! My family and extended family including grandchildren live on Barnes Road. We are part of the Barnes Road Neighborhood Association. Our group has expanded to roads beyond our neighborhood including those that would suffer as a result of additional unwanted traffic and party activity that the town has no ability to control. Barnes Road is a small backroad with active agricultural activity and residential homes. It is a road without shoulders, lighting or lines and has several unsafe curves with hidden driveways. The Supreme Court ruled against this Party Barn project. Why would the town consider an appeal. Our original concerns remain! Only the applicant would benefit. One taxpayer versus all our neighbors and members who are also taxpayers and rely on the town’s representatives to protect our homes and interests.
Suzanne Gaylord, West Sand Lake