April 16, 2008: Bad idea



To The Editor:

Fleischmanns taxpayers, do you know that on Thursday, April 10, the Fleischmanns’ Village attorney and a representative of Delaware Engineering appeared before the Middletown Planning Board? Their goal was to receive a Special Permit to erect a 320,000-gallon water storage tank. The water tower will stand upwards of 40 feet tall, located directly above the Village of Fleischmanns off Paradise Camp Road.

Before I enumerate some of the important reasons why this foolhardy project should not be approved, I am advising the citizens of Fleischmanns that the onus of repayment of the $1.3 million loan needed to build and put up this water tank will be our responsibility. The repayment of this loan will either be tacked onto our water or tax bills. Do the math and you will realize that each household will be paying thousands of dollars more on top of what we currently pay to the village. Do you need additional sewer or water bills?

Also, the village claims that the water tower was mandated by the Department of Health. It was pointed out at the meeting that this is not true. It is not a requirement of the DOH. 

More reasons to defeat this waste of money: 

• The tract of land designated for the tower is located on a Middletown plot zoned for five-acre residential homes. Does this open the door to more commercial development? The water tank is a massive project that should be situated in an industrial area.

• The gigantic tower will be visible from many local homes and roads. It will be an eyesore which will disturb the scenic beauty we expect by living here. It would be located only 200 feet from a village residence.

• The real estate value of many properties, including Middletown residences, will be decreased by this blot on the landscape.

• A tower and tank is an attractive nuisance and could be used for target practice as well as a site for children to climb and get injured.

• The tower could fail and 320,000 gallons of water could flood residences in the village.

• The easement allows for the possible expansion of the tower to one million gallons. Who is that water designated for?

• As part of the plan, the village would be obligated to construct and pay for a 1,000-foot-long by 14-foot-wide private road for the current owner of the parcel. What will that cost?

I strongly urge you to notify and lobby the Middletown Planning Board and the Fleischmanns Village Board to not allow this imprudent and risky project to proceed. Attend the next village board meeting on April 21 and the Middletown Planning Board meeting on May 8 and voice your opinion. As far as I know, there was never a public hearing held in Fleischmanns on this topic.

Larry Banks, Fleischmanns