"Wynne Kirschbaum" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
05/14/2008 01:28 PM
Default custom expiration date of 05/14/2009
May 14, 2008
For those of you who could not attend…
Just wanted to follow up with everyone who could not be present at last night’s community meeting regarding our water problem.
The meeting was a huge success! We had a good turn out. Many residents were there to ask a wide variety of important questions. Some questions lead to answers which lead to further questions. The discussion that ensued went on for a solid two hours!
Larry Williams started off the meeting with a slide show/timeline, chronologically depicting the events from the time the shed collapsed on March 18, to present. Several members from the State Water Authority, and Department of Public Services, were there to answer questions. Mike Bernadine attended and was very helpful and informative as well. WCAX-TV3 was there. The video is still available via website for viewing! Our state Rep. Bill Frank was present last night as well. Along with help from the offices of Peter Welsh, Bernie Sanders, and Patrick Leahy, Bill has been there to accept and make phone calls, process information and give suggestions that would make this project transition more smoothly. For that, we are thankful.
An assortment of information including the results of recent water tests, i.e. byproducts, bacteria, etc, temporary permits dated back to 2007, websites (including our own new community site), and contact information for residents to the state authority, were available. We learned about how water is tested, the state/federal requirements, and proposals for Bolton Valley’s concerns and future water plans.
The importance of communication was stressed, not only between residents but between Catamount Water/Redstone and the residents. We agreed that the lack of communication was responsible for the breed of distrust.
Of greatest information gained, we were educated to the high levels of chlorine byproducts, that while not necessarily constant, have at times, been above the EPA standards and are a serious health related risk! A great deal of conversation was directed toward this and the future hope of well water, as this would be the preferred alternative to the continuous problems related to the present water system of surface run off. One comment made by one of our residents pointed out that, “Even on its best day, the water here is still not safe to drink!” Not only was the comment embraced, but acknowledged by the state officials present.
We certainly have come a long way since March 18, but there is still follow up to be done. First, most, if not ALL of us, agreed, the water we will use for cooking and drinking, will be bottled, at least through December 2008 when a decision is made regarding the possibility of well water. Second, Larry Williams also saw how the community was concerned and hungry for communication and education regarding our water source. He agreed to keep us informed of any activity regarding our water, planned repairs further affecting our water source, i.e. increased chlorine=increased dangerous byproduct, BEFORE they happen. He will notify us via our website, and by posted/mailed notice. Lastly, the State Water Authority, made it clear that their responsibility was directed toward inspection and follow up of all mandated required repairs/corrections. It is the responsibility of the water company, i.e.Catamount/Redstone, to keep us informed of activity with our water.
By the meeting’s close, we all realized that the current system we have is at its best, bungled with issues of organic contamination, an issue of contamination with nature’s run off, and finally the increased levels of chlorine, needed at times to help with these issues, increases health risks by the byproducts from the chlorine. W realized that Catmount/Redstone was left with an old system that is under current investigation for future changes and improvements.
It is each person/s decision as to how they do or do not wish to use their water. I have forwarded the 15 page Temporary Permit, dated April 2007, and asked Kurt to apply it to our website. If you are not able to read or download the pages, please let me know and I will forward the mail to you. Within the next 24hours, I will hand over our website address to Catamount/Redstone for future communication. Look for posted notices on the side of our mailbox and check in to our site for updates.
One final note. Because of bureaucracy, I was misinformed about the cover letter content and petition requirement by the Department of Public Service. The corrections have been made and the “re” letter/petition are being resent this week via certified mail. We are asking for a board investigation, and will keep you notified.
The meeting is done but the communication is just starting!!
Thank you to all!