April 30, 2008: Village water tower plans are a sham

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To The Editor:
At the Fleischmanns April 21 Village Board meeting, the village failed to demonstrate convincing arguments, concerning the proposed project to erect a 320,000 gallon, 35-foot-high water storage tank. Economically and environmentally this project is a sham.
The representative of Delaware Engineering agreed that Fleischmanns has an adequate water supply to meet its current needs and possible expansion for the next 20 years. What purpose, then, does the storage tank serve over the next period of time? He also acknowledged that the water storage tank only has a 30-year life expectancy. The storage tank as reported by the engineer would serve as a back-up water source in the event of a major water problem.
At the same time Delaware Engineering indicated that in the event of a total collapse, the pipes and purity of the Fleischmanns water system could be repaired in one to three days.
The water tank would be installed on private property in the Town of Middletown. Water would be fed to it from the Fleischmanns water reserves. In the event that an emergency occurs, the proposed water tower would rely on the same water supply that currently services the entire village. Therefore, its supply pipes would also be jeopardized and nothing would be gained. If, in fact, there is an emergency affecting the water system, after the water storage tank empties its capacity it will not be serviceable, as it too, would not be able to be refilled. Why then assume a loan in the amount of $1.3 million dollars to erect a water tower that could only supply water to the village for a maximum of one to three days when the system without the tank could, as admitted by Delaware Engineering, be repaired during the same time period?
Delaware Engineering disclosed at the meeting that its site plan has not been completed. If built, the tower creates an industrial zone in a residential area. It will be an eyesore seen from many locations throughout the village including Little Red Kill Road, Wagner Avenue, Main Street and state Route 28.
The village has stated that the cost of water in Fleischmanns without the new project will soon double. It has not disclosed the cost of water after the project.
No one has divulged the actual cost of the project or the fees that will be paid to the engineering company. The real winners of this project are engineers and the private landowner, the latter who in exchange for giving a 99-year easement to the village will receive a 1,000-ft.-long x 14-ft. wide road built on his property.
Why should the Fleischmanns taxpayers improve a private property in the Town of Middletown which is outside of the village? As if that isn’t enough, Fleischmanns taxpayers will be obliged to pick up the cost of the taxes on this Middletown parcel and the road maintenance to it.
The issue here is another senseless and expensive project which the Fleischmanns residents will need to repay.
We have to be responsible for how our tax dollars are spent and our zoning maintained. Please attend the Middletown Planning Board meeting on May 8.

Anita Rubin,
Fleischmanns