Trustee Lynden responds to water articles

Fredonia Trustee James Lynden is obviously an avid reader of the OBSERVER, responding to two of its recent articles about local water issues at Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting.

Lynden first criticized an article featuring comments from Dan Pacos, Pomfret town supervisor and North County Water District board chairman.

“He thought that the village, he said, has no connections with North County Water District lines… because Pomfret has them,” Lynden said. “Well, this is true — we are the suppliers to Pomfret, and these are the lines that go directly from the agreement that we have in place from the North County Water District to the village of Fredonia, and we are the suppliers of the town. And that’s all there is to it.”

Lynden hit Pacos on his comments that a new connection at the Pomfret-Fredonia end of the village is ready. “It’s funny how they didn’t let us know. If it’s operational, he claims it’s operational. … It’d be nice for us to know, that they would be operational, then we’d be able to have an opportunity to test it out to see if the function is up to par.”

Lynden asked Scott Marsh, village Department of Public Works Director, if he knew anything about the connection being ready for use. Marsh replied, “To my knowledge, it’s not.”

The trustee later referenced the OBSERVER’s conveyance of his stance that the water district is trying to force Fredonia into it.

“Well, it’s been going on for many years now. It’s certainly a fairly thinly veiled push for sure, if not an outright push,” Lynden said, “There’s been drawings and concepts for going into the university, and many other things, over the years. Certainly they’ve been wanting us to go ever since the (water district) concept was proposed by the county executive at that time.

“And yeah, we didn’t go into it — at that time, it made no sense, after a thorough engineering study. As a matter of fact, at one point Mayor (Athanasia) Landis asked that we be able to participate in being a supplier to the North County Water District, but they didn’t want us to be a supplier. Dunkirk wanted to be the sole supplier for the water district, so that’s how that ended. We didn’t want to be a customer, just like the city of Dunkirk is not a customer of the water district. They just pay their own rates.”

Lynden then held up another OBSERVER article as justification for his belief that the district covets Fredonia’s water revenues, to help it stay afloat in the long term.

“There’s another article in today’s paper that had to do with the (water district’s proposed) rate hike,” he said. “I recognized, after reviewing their budget… that they didn’t have enough revenues to meet their appropriations. I stated that to them, they seemed bothered by that statement, but I see in today’s paper on the county’s end they’re looking to raise another 40 cents per 1,000 (gallons used).”

Lynden added, “Clearly, instead of getting Fredonia’s customers, they’re just going to raise the rates to their current customers, until they can pay for all their bills.”


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