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No excuse for high water rates

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To the Editor:

I’ll start by saying I very seldom get upset about things I have no control over. My take is usually “It is what it is.” However, when I got my quarterly water bill I became quite upset. I wasn’t happy when they raised the bill a year ago or so from $50 (which by the way is what Margaretville residents still pay) to $91.

That justification was that they hired a company, paying them $62,000 a year. To do what? I do not know. Seems that is a lot of money that certainly wasn’t a 40 hour a week job. Most people in the area don’t make that working 40 plus hours. I figured now I could drink the “GREAT” water I am paying for… NOT! I buy water to drink.

So now the company no longer has the job, whatever it was, and a new hire is one person getting paid a little over half of the $62,000 the company was getting and I get my water bill and it is now $110 quarterly. WHAT!?!? Is there a shortage of water in Arkville? Is our water some purified fountain of youth? I don’t think so. If the system could be maintained for years and years on $50 quarterly, (and you could use all the water you wanted) I don’t see how it can be justified being more than doubled and that is with an allotted amount you use for $110.

That means to me, if it is a hot summer and my gardens and lawn need some extra water to look good, I am going to get a higher water bill. Arkville is a far cry from the Hamptons where this would be no big deal. But there are a lot of people on fixed incomes and families with children who need baths and clothes washed etc. in Arkville which makes this increase a big deal.

Merie Lou Grocholl
Arkville

Crisis ignored

To the Editor:

In 2016, Ulster County registered 52 opioid deaths. This was the highest overdose fatality rate in N.Y. State. In 2017, another 43 of our neighbors succumbed to this pernicious drug and last year 56 more died an opiate related death. They leave behind thousands of family members and friends who mourn their passing.

Most of those 151 people got hooked on opiates because they were in physical pain and their physicians were kept in the dark about how addictive these pain killers are.

Early in the crisis, then legislator John Parete worked to get first responders provided with Narcan, a lifesaving medicine that reverses the effects opiates. Had this not been done the number of fatal overdoses would have been even higher. During this same period then County Executive Mike Hein successfully influenced the State to increase the number of treatment slots open for our methadone program, which also helped reduce the number of fatalities.

Recently, Steve Kelly the CEO of Ellenville Hospital and his staff came up with a plan to treat overdose cases that were admitted to their Emergency Room. The plan was to first stabilize the patients, provide them with anti withdrawal medication, and then promptly and seamlessly transfer them into a drug treatment program. Kelly met with Mike Hein who agreed to fund the medical training needed to allow his staff to administer the withdrawal medications. The program is currently in operation.

Drug abuse in Ulster County is far more prevalent than the average resident seems to be aware of. Besides opiates, the rate of adolescent marijuana use is far above the state and national levels and has been that way for years.

If Ulster County had 151 cases of the measles or if 60 percent of the high school seniors hadn’t been vaccinated there would be public health announcements all over the media. So I find it odd that after 151 people have died from opiates and more than half of our high school seniors are smoking dope, there is hardly a whisper.

Thomas Kadgen
Shokan

Every little bit helps

To the Editor:

Budget cuts effect everyone, but the worst thing is to deprive our children of getting an education simply because they are unable to meet the rising college costs.

The MCS Dollars for Scholars program hopes to raise enough money to help all of our graduates with financial needs to further their educations.

Margaretville Central School Dollars for Scholars, Inc. has applied for and received a matching grant from the O’Connor Foundation for the graduates of Margaretville Central School’s Class of 2019.

The O’Connor Foundation will match us dollar for dollar for every dollar we raise, up to a total of $6,000.00.

If we pull together, we will be able to help all of our graduates go to college.

Teresa Goodchild
for MCS Dollars
for Scholars Committee

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