J.M.W. Turner's "Chichester Canal" at the Tate Gallery, London

Friday, June 15, 2012

Shandaken mulls sewer flush

Another story in the Woodstock Times about the (apparently) never-ending saga of the sewer, Shandaken, and NYC.

Photo © S. Weir

Shandaken supervisor Rob Stanley expressed disappointment with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), not only for pulling the remaining $15.8 million in funding for the proposed Phoenicia sewer but also for failing to respond to any of the concerns Stanley noted in his request for an extension on the timeframe for the project’s development.

The DEP’s letter of June 1, notifying Stanley that they were dropping the project after 15 years of trying to get a Phoenicia sewer system into the ground, caught the town board by surprise and caused widespread dismay.

Restaurant owner Mike Ricciardella, who has been a leader of the opposition to settling for the city’s offer, remarked, “The city wanted us to sign on to an open-ended agreement. The proposal didn’t have a concrete accounting of the costs, and the board said they needed more time to make it complete. It’s a shame the city backed out. The board did a good job. As a business person, you want to have all the costs made clear before you make a decision.”

Ironically, Ricciardella is having difficulty getting a loan to purchase Al’s Seafood Restaurant because of issues with the town’s septic systems. “I’m applying through the CWC,” he explained, “and they had concerns about the general conditions of septic systems in town,” such as the violation against Sweet Sue’s last year that resulted in the restaurant’s owner, Sue Taylor, having to install a new septic system after Main Street flooded in 2010.

Phoenicia realtor and water commissioner Rick Ricciardella commented, “The sewer system is a good idea, but if the city needs it to protect their waterways, they should pay for everything. We don’t need it — the systems we’ve had have worked for 200 years. We have good soil for filtration, sand and gravel. I have a septic system the city put in for me ten years ago, and it works fine.”

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