Of Water and Fire
In the movie Chinatown we learn of incest, betrayal, violence and corruption all so Los Angeles can be provided with a sound supply of water. Well, 60 miles north of New York City in the Town of Fishkill similar chicanery is going on that is endangering the lives of an entire neighborhood of families according to one resident who asked to remain anonymous.
The neighborhood is the Beacon Hills section of Glenham where there is not enough water to supply area fire hydrants. One house in fact burned down because of this lunacy even though there is a hydrant right on the property. It is a wonder how people can sleep at night here knowing that even a minor fire can turn into a life threatening catastrophe because of inadequate hydrant water. It took several fire departments to run hose to a creek that runs along the edge of the far side of the neighborhood to pump water up to the home mentioned earlier just to contain the flames.
This home has still not been repaired leaving many to wonder if it is because of the lack of hydrant water. Does it pay to rebuild when you know that one spark can destroy your house and threaten the lives of your family all over again because the water needs have still not been met.
The water situation is so precarious that the State Comptroller reports that money allocated for the Beacon Hills water district was borrowed from and then allocated to the general fund and state law requires that this money be paid back to the water district within a year and this has not been done as of this date.
The money would have been used to upgrade Beacon Hills’ iron water pipes which are 20 years past their lifespan and they are bursting constantly leaving a patchwork of asphalt repairs over broken pipes up and down the area’s streets. In fact one report states that the area is losing 17% of its water. Most likely from the broken pipes.
The town has a history of chicanery with a State Controller’s audit revealing that the municipality is in a $5 million deficit while neighboring towns have vast surpluses and high bond ratings. Fishkill’s bonds are just above junk bond status. This all begs the question of what has happened to both the cash and water flow of New York State’s own version of Chinatown.
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