“There’s no validity to that idea,” Sullivan said. “You can’t charge people after the fact. I really don’t see a lot of reasons why this shouldn’t move forward.”This sense of entitlement from a Whitestown official is disturbing! After Westmoreland does all the work, why should Johnny-Come-Lately Whitestown expect to get something for nothing? But "Something-for-Nothing" is apparently part of Whitestown's "M.O." . . .
The Rome Sentinel gives this interesting tidbit:
[T]he town has been collecting a water fee from the residents along the route, so there is money set aside to pay for access.People have been paying Whitestown for Something, but Getting Nothing.
The Winter 2008 Whitestown News gives the scoop:
The Town Board has been working to develop a cost-effective way to fund the installation of public water mains for Town residents along NYS Route 233 and the westerly end of Suttliff Road. Several years ago the Town Board and Camelot Village negotiated an equitable agreement to share in the construction of water mains extending from the Whitestown Business Park to NYS Route 233. However, the continuing disagreement between the Mohawk Valley Water Authority and Canal Corporation has prevented the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation from issuing a Water Supply Permit necessary to allow the MVWA to provide water service to Westmoreland (and Camelot Village). Camelot Village and the Town of Westmoreland recently negotiated an agreement with the City of Rome to supply water to Camelot Village. Westmoreland will construct water mains along NYS Route 233 within NYSDOT right-of-way from the Rome/Whitestown line to Camelot Village . . .What appears to have happened (and I invite Whitestown officials to set the record straight if I misunderstood something) is that Whitestown and Westmoreland had entered into a sharing agreement that fell through when MVWA was unable to secure a permit from DEC to supply the water that would go into the pipe... but Whitestown has gone forward and billed the residents anyway. Why is Whitestown still collecting money? Where has this money gone?
There is more to this story . . . more to question that is . . .
Contrasting the MVWA vs Rome supplier situations raises an interesting question: If a DEC permit was needed for MVWA to supply Westmoreland, would not one also have been required for Rome to supply Westmoreland? 6 NYCRR Part 601 (DEC's Water Supply Regulations) §601.3 requires a permit before agreements for water supply are entered into -- as well as several other circumstances that seem to apply here. However, searching the Environmental Notice Bulletin turned up no water supply permit application for Rome to supply Westmoreland.
Did Camelot Village/Westmoreland secure a permit from DEC to obtain water from Rome? Or did Rome secure a permit from DEC to supply water to Westmoreland?
If there has been an application for a DEC permit, it would appear that ECL 15-1521 could be used by DEC to force the issue of Rome supplying Whitestown.
Lastly, doesn't it seem a bit odd that Westmoreland can just up and ram pipes through Whitestown (with State DOT cooperation) and Whitestown has no right to say anything about it? This story seems stranger the more you think about it.
Government serves whom it wants to serve -- but it's usually the "little people" who pay their taxes and pay their fees who wind up taking the pipe.