March 5, 2013

In My Opinion: Jay says sewer work wasn't being done

We, the Jay Town Council, are responding to an opinion column written by Black Brook Town Councilor Howard Aubin.

The following points are facts and can be verified by pictures, video footage, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reports and engineering reports from A.E.S.:

1. The sewer plant, pumping stations and individual property owner’s sewer tanks were in total disarray and were not on any preventive-maintenance schedule when Black Brook was the lead agency.

2. The Town of Jay became lead agency on Jan. 1, 2012, after a legally agreed contract was signed by both towns.

3. All sewer facilities are now on a preventive-maintenance schedule, as are property owners’ individual tanks, and all information is on a computer data base kept by Jay Department of Public Works.

4. Jay taxpayers were billed by Black Brook for years for four to six hours a day for work that we alleged was not performed.

A video we have that we showed to Black Brook official Howard Aubin in September of 2011, verified by a local resident near the entrance to the plant, can verify the truth.

If the sewer plant worker worked four to six hours a day instead of what is alleged, for just minutes a day, then one would have to believe the facilities would have been in much better shape.

5. Councilman Aubin references in his letter that for six months Black Brook ordered its sewer-plant worker to do the minimum to keep the plant running. If that’s true, then the Black Brook Town Council was in violation of its fiduciary duty to ensure taxpayers were not overpaying for these services if they were not being performed.

6. For years, the Town of Jay was billed for four to six hours a day for work performed when we alleged that the sewer plant operator was actually working as a private contractor out of town and not working these hours.

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