A political, NIMBY issue
The following letter was sent to W. Michael Sullivan, director of the state Department of Environmental Management, and copied to the Press:
I am a resident of Jamestown who lives near the old landfill. I am sure that you are aware of the huge controversy going on in town concerning the proper closure of the landfill and the plans being discussed to locate a new a 13,000-square-foot highway barn on the property along with other DPW-type activities.
The landfill was never properly closed when it was converted to a transfer station and plans to do a proper remediation have dragged along slowly over the past 15 years. The town, however, has continued to use the site on a very active basis. A few years back the DPW spread lead paint chips that were left over from sandblasting a water tower all over the top of the upper landfill. I believe they were forced to remove it. They also tried to spread treated sewage over the same areas and that was forced to be halted. They continue to drive heavy equipment over the landfill and to do all manner of work on the site. If this is okay with DEM, why bother to remediate the site at all!
Water Tests! All of us who live up here had our water tested when we moved in because it is part of real estate due diligence and you need to have your water tested to get most mortgages. The water up here is not good so we all have some sort of filtration system. Some wells in the area showed very small amounts of unwanted elements but not above the limits of safe drinking water. Now after all the disturbance at the landfill over the years, some wells are starting to show higher concentrations of unsafe materials. This is extremely troublesome.
The Town Council now is thinking about putting the new highway barn up here as well. The plans that I saw showed that huge disturbances were to occur in the site work, in the construction of the barn, and in operations planned for the site. The plans that GZA and DEM presented were the minimum of protection with no assurance that we could get a new water supply if our wells are further corrupted. The cost of doing a proper closure would cost the town more for site work than the building of the barn!
This issue is entirely political. It is a NIMBY issue. There are other good sites for the barn that are safe and have town water and sewers. Most of the work of the DPW is done in and for the south end of town. There is no one protecting us up here. The Town Council, GZA, and a couple of your people won't help us. We need a new barn, but why take the risk with both health and finances. Please help us if you can. Respectfully,
David King 1180 North Main Rd.