Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Bad Neighbor, and a Government In Default . . .

The Ross family of Yorkville is frustrated. After 25 years on their quiet suburban street, and after the neighboring Holy Trinity Cemetery expanded in 2001, their property has been periodically flooded, causing a basement wall to collapse and thousands of dollars in damages. The Rosses are not looking for money, but just want the flooding to stop. Pleas for help from local officials were rebuffed at every turn. Their experiences and continuing story have been chronicled at "The Ross Cause". . . . But it was nice to see the story finally get press in the Observer-Dispatch.

Will public attention spur those involved to "do the right thing," or don't they care?

No evidence has been offered to show that flooding was an issue before the cemetery expansion; or that weather patterns have significantly changed after 2000; or that significant changes to land use, other than the cemetery expansion, have occurred since 2000. That pretty much eliminates all explanations for the flooding other than the expansion or, perhaps, a failure of the village's storm sewer system.

The expansion project does not comply with the Village's design requirement that runoff flows not exceed .5 cubic foot per second. Although the Village says that its system can handle the greater flow, it is not enforcing its own requirement. Until the Village enforces its rule and the Cemetery complies, both the Village and the Cemetery come into the situation with unclean hands.

If water backs up into the cemetery and flows across neighboring properties to the Rosses, then the cemetery is not providing sufficient storm water retention to mitigate its impact regardless of whether or not it the Village approved its plans. A nuisance is a nuisance, and the Village has an obligation to its citizens to abate them.

Clearly the Rosses have done nothing to bring this destruction onto themselves. . . . and it is not an "act of God." . . . The situation is caused by the cemetery expansion and the village's failure to address it in a satisfactory manner.

The Diocese of Syracuse (for the Cemetery) and the Village need to fix the problem instead of shifting blame.


clipper said...

The diocese of Syracuse has enough money to foot the bill and then resolve with the issue with the village or town. The cost of the grading and drainage improvements will pale compared to the costs of the lawsuit, which I am confident the Ross family would win.

When did the people we elect go from protecting our rights and property to opposing what is right, and violating our rights as citizens?

As I said in a thread on Clipper's Corner, maybe the catholics in the area need to bring pressure to bear on the diocese to do what is right. It is ridiculous for the church OR the village to refuse to fix this mess that the expansion obviously caused. I bet if enough catholics withhold the money from the basket that comes around all too often during mass, the church would ante up the money and fix the problem.

Anonymous said...

The OD is not interested in reporting the countless stories of woe for citizens who neighbor the Oneida Enterprises. One man has so much flooding that he is growing cat tails and other swamp plants on his lawn. He has devastating mold throughout his house. The Turning Stone refuses to acknowledge the damage and claim they are sovereign. The politicians turn a blind eye as does the DEC and all of the other regulatory agencies who are advised to look away. This is one of many examples, yet not one has ever reached the OD.

Anonymous said...

I work for a local engineer in Oneida County and this stuff enrages me. Whitestown hires their own engineer to evaluate this project and then actually has the nerve to reference the ex-town engineer and sitting village engineer as "independent" sources. Please - who looks dumber the Town for making this argument or the OD for accepting it???

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that the Whitestown Engineer Reports do not have the required SEAL affixed to their reports.

Is this not a violation of their license. Where is the NYS Office of Professional Discipline in this matter?

Anonymous said...

The whole system is corrupt! Garbage in and garbage out. All of these elected clowns, pick up their paycheck and go home. Greedy, scum bags like the parents that raised them.