Lack of maintenance contributes to troubles

In response to the Editor’s corner “Thirst for change lacks in water ordeal,” (Sept. 25), many things are stated as fact that are actually matters of opinion.

John D’Agostino states Trustee James Lynden is defending the “unstable, failing” Fredonia water system. When it’s time to change the oil in your car, we don’t refer to the car as unstable or failing. It requires regular maintenance as does the Fredonia water system.

It is factually true that maintenance has been delayed too long. Last year the previous mayor and Village Board finally started to address these issues head on and if the plan had been executed properly, we would be the beneficiaries of an updated and improved interconnect with Dunkirk, cleaned up surroundings at the reservoir (that would cut down on algal bloom), and cleaner safer water for the residents of Fredonia and Pomfret.

I also cannot overlook the characterization of Lynden as “often gasping while wearing his face covering.” The author has already commented in the OBSERVER that wearing a mask is our civic duty and one of the easiest and most important things we can do to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This is truly unhelpful pandering to those among us who continue to deny that wearing a mask in public is clearly the first step in getting us out of this pandemic.

I agree the almost eerie calm and acceptance of another boil water alert is counter-productive to progress. There is a place that the buck stops in Fredonia and there has been no acceptance of responsibility from that position, but instead excuses and incorrect information.

I found it unfortunate that the writer dragged back Dr. Robert Berke’s comments to support the argument that Fredonia should join the North County Water District.

Although I certainly agree that Fredonia should join, it makes no sense at all if we are required to shut down our existing water supply as has been the only way that we have been officially invited to join. The fact of the matter is that customers of the district pay more for their water than village of Fredonia residents do now. It would benefit everyone in our area greatly for all of our local water suppliers to be connected so that clean safe water can flow where it is needed regardless of temporary setbacks.

The author continues to repeat the rumor that Fredonia’s water supply is a cash cow for the village. This is simply not the case, and if true would be something improper transpiring. The budget for the water and sewer lines is fully separate from the general fund and should never intersect. Although temporary transfers can occur within a fiscal year, they must be repaid within that year. Any variation from this should be investigated.

As the author points out, the last 30 years have been a situation where the can has been kicked down the road and efforts to understand what and why things happening with the village’s water and administration were often obfuscated and confusing. But that is not what our current situation is, nor should it be moving forward.

In the author’s final statements, the assertion is made that the trustees and mayor care little or not at all about providing clean safe water to the residents and businesses of Fredonia and Pomfret, but I do not think this can be established as fact.

I certainly don’t want to make excuses for them, but the fact is that as of the previous administration, there is finally an attempt to right some of the past wrongs that have left Fredonia and its water supply in such an incomprehensibly bad state of disrepair. I hope that we will soon see a day that Fredonia’s infrastructure is brought up to the 21st century, and that we are also a potential supplier and contributor to clean safe water in Chautauqua County.

David Fridmann is a member of the Fredonia Planning Board, Village of Fredonia Cable Television and Communications Advisory Board and the Town of Pomfret ZBA chairman.


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