Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tuesday's Sewer Meeting

It was an interesting meeting, reported upon in the Sentinel, the OD, WKTV, and News 10 Now.

It was admitted that 50% of the sewer users who will pay to fix the situation reside in Utica. However, no one representing Utica was invited to participate in the selection of the engineers who would study solutions. This omission was never adequately explained. The representative from Utica at the meeting voiced no protest, and had practically nothing to say.

The impression was made that this was a "storm water" problem and a "lack of maintenance" problem. However, while storm water management and proper maintenance will be part of the solution, it was the connection of separated sanitary sewers to a combined sewer overflow that caused the violations that DEC and EPA complained of (already pointed out in earlier posts on this subject).

Another impression was that a lot of people stand to make a lot of money from this problem -- and if things can be kept complicated, more work will be "justified." Beneficiaries/Participants present at this meeting were several engineering firms, two law firms, and a public relations outfit. Many ladles will be dipping into this big pot that rate payers will be tossing into.

A steering committee composed of residents and officials is going to be formed -- a good idea. But this begs the question, what is the role of the Sewer District Advisory Board? It almost sounds like a duplication. It was good to see that Concerned Citizens for Honest and Open Government is trying to be involved. Officials should be receptive to their participation.

Hopefully the steering committee idea will work out, and this problem will be resolved in a manner that is fair to all municipalities and sewer users. But with so many players involved, and with so much money to be made, the committee will have its work cut out.


Jason said...

I was at that meeting. Interesting to find that the same engineering firm that has BUNGLED Storm Water problems for the Town of New Hartford is now being identified as the LEAD ENGINEERING Firm. Is someone crazy?

I begin to wonder who is getting the "kick-backs" in this matter. Also, when I heard we had three or four laws firms...GUESS WHAT??? Attorneys fees charged to this project will be enormous.

Lastly, we have the Town of New Hartford and their STORM WATER PROBLEMS that will run into the tens of millions of dollars. I do not see any Contractor being charged with NEGLIGENCE in these matters. Why? Because Roger Cleveland, Town Highway Superintendent is closely aligned with these contractors and builders. If these builders are not charged with negligence...then I guess Roger Cleveland should be taken to task.

When does all this bullsh*t stop?

Han Arnold, Chairperson, New Hartford Planning Board too, spoke not with authority but from stupidity and ignorance. His comments that "uncontrolled growth" was not responsible [ in part ] for the Storm Water problems in New Hartford or (at least) aggravated them is beyond belief. We pay this guy how much???

People of Oneida County, WAKE-UP and take matters into your own hands. We can change how business is done in this area. However, we need only a few to start the ball rolling.

Strikeslip said...

I don't thank that any particular firm has been responsible for NH's storm water problems -- they are a Town responsibility (which curiously do not seem to be a problem in Deerfield and other nearby towns).

I would be concerned if any of the engineering firms chosen were involved in any of the projects that have been allowed to tie into the combined sewer overflow (which caused the violation)-- there may be a conflict of interest there. At this point i don't know if any were or not -- but that did not seem to be a consideration among those choosing who would do the study.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad people are watching this stuff. all those suckers are drooling over this already.

What was the name of the "Engineering firm" that bungled? I'd like know.