Reservoirs are blight on region
To the Editor:
I read with interest the article on the Arkville trailer park dispute in the November 27 issue of the Catskill Mountain News. Having worked on the estimate for this system, I know for a fact that the cost of materials alone, as shown in the engineer’s plans, is in excess of $40,000, and the total cost could be well over $170,000. Unless there is a second set of plans floating about, the suggestion that it would cost about $40,000 is an absurdity bordering on a falsehood.
Unfortunately, all of this cost must ultimately be borne not by the owner of the trailer park, but by the people who live there. After all, a businessperson doesn’t reach into her pocket and donate costs; she passes them on to her customers or clients. This simple fact, that costs are paid by the ultimate consumer, in this case the park residents, represents the real inequity here. If this were a community of second-home owners, they would be reimbursed.
If this were a community of local homeowners, they would be reimbursed.
But, for no apparent reason, because this is a community of mobile home owners, there is no reimbursement available. Talk about second-class citizenship.
It is just one more of the many hardships imposed by the city on residents of the watershed. The inequities began when the water was first stolen through condemnation and continue to this day. The reservoirs are an economic blight on the Catskills, restraining private commerce and draining public coffers. It is time that the management of the watershed was carried out not by remote uncaring authorities elected or appointed from the city, but rather by representatives of the people who live and work in the watershed. It is time for an end to New York City Department of Environmental Protection jurisdiction over the watershed, replaced by a locally run watershed authority fully funded by those who consume the water they take from us.
I find it particularly unfortunate that our own town officials, rather than addressing these obvious inequities and helping local residents, appear to be working hand-in-hand with the city to continue this economic oppression. It is certainly not how I want my tax dollars used.