By Rebecca Martin
Attached is video from tonight’s Town of Ulster Town Board meeting (11/6/14). Public comment begins at 29:10 where the board (i.e. Supervisor James Quigley) defensively answers questions regarding the Niagara Bottling Plant proposal. The questions posed include those on infrastructure costs, trailor truck traffic, City of Kingston resolutions, tax implications and a request to learn of any analysis on the fiscal benefits/costs of the Niagara project. Residents were told that the TOU is awaiting the start of the SEQR process and has done no preliminary research or has any information to share.
What confidence should the people be expected to have in a municipality wanting ‘Lead Agency’ in SEQR, on a proposal that may have unprecedented regional consequences, without having any preliminary factual information at all? With that being the case, Supervisor Quigley in his comments concludes that the City of Kingston’s Water Department through this proposed water sale will receive monies to cover $16,000,000 in infrastructure repairs (although in Superintendent Judy Hansen’s powerpoint, the costs portrayed are closer to $18,000,000) and will keep the cost of resident’s water bill from rising by at least 30%. Without any factual preparation, what is he basing this on? The City of Kingston’s Water Department doesn’t even have a final copy of an engineering report it hired a consultant to create back in the Spring.
Can one assume then that all of the information portrayed by our elected officials in favor of the proposal is nothing more than what was written in the initial EAF (Environmental Assessment Form) by the Chazen Companies on behalf of Niagara? A form riddled with errors with an ACTION that does not include the entire scope of the project.