There appears to be no end in sight for the 18 to 20 families facing devastating salt-contamination problems in the hamlet of Ledgers Corners in the Town of Dannemora.
While state and local agencies continue to research the problem and its orgin and collect still more data, the families affected have become more and more frustrated with the process.
And who can blame them? Their salt-contaminated property is worthless. They can’t filter their water, can’t drill water wells. Their appliances are worthless. Imagine not being able to turn on your faucet to get water to drink, cook and shower. Their water and sewer lines have been rendered useless. They have to travel to get clean, fresh, potable water.
We’re not saying state and local agencies have done nothing, because they have. The State Department of Transportation has provided a water tanker that holds 5,000 gallons and also 5-gallon jugs to use for drinking water. Both short-term fixes, in our opinion.
Any long-term solution awaits the findings of the so-called continuing research. We’re slowly losing our patience with the process.
The properties affected are in an area across, next to or near a state DOT salt shed at the intersection of Route 374 and the Plank Road. It would seem logical that’s the source of the problem, which has existed for more than a decade.
However, it seems DOT and other agencies have been collecting data for a rather long period of time. How much information do they need? Is it a manpower issue? If so, add more people to the process. Are there too many cooks in the kitchen? Then allow only one or two experts to be the CEOs of the project. Is it money? Then find the financial resources to bring the project to fruition. Spare no expense. This was the state’s doing, so show us the money.
That may sound a bit simplistic, but what else could be holding up a long-term solution to a problem that has been allowed to exist for years?
The agencies involved â€” state DOT, state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Clinton County Health Department and the Clinton County Office of Emergency Services â€” have bi-weekly conference calls. Affected residents would like to be part of the discussion, yet they’ve not been asked. Perhaps they should be.
With winter approaching, we wonder how residents are going to cope for another straight cold-weather season.
It’s time for all hands on deck. Local agencies can only do so much. It’s time the state stepped up the plate with all its resources to find a long-term solution to a problem that it created. Anything less is unacceptable.