Hoosick Falls to decide on water contamination settlement
by Taylor Young, originally posted on January 13, 2017
HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. –
Just more than a year ago residents of a New York village stopped drinking the chemically-tainted water. Soon after the state determined that the contamination came from factories owned by Saint-Gobain and Honeywell.
Thursday night the town will decide on a settlement.
The settlement includes a payout and assurance the company will not be sued by the village in the future.
Hoosick Mayor David Borge says it’s time to reach an agreement with the company that tainted the village’s water.
“We’ve been negotiating this for over 15 months now and it’s time to get the settlement taken care of,” said Borge.
The settlement will wait until the board officially hears the opinion of community members. Some aren’t waiting to voice their displeasure arguing the settlement language is too murky.
“When I look at this I see things that don’t make any sense,” said Jim Martinez, Hoosick Federal Credit Union president.
The proposed deal includes an $850,000 payment to the village. Nearly half of that will pay for legal and public relation fees leaving slightly more than $300,000 for Hoosick.
“I don’t like it, it doesn’t look like it’s good for the village,” said Martinez.
Martinez is disappointed with the proposal, especially a village pledge not to seek any further payment from the company or its parent company.
“it appears to me that we are signing off our rights in the future,” said Martinez.
WCAX reached out to Saint-Gobain representatives and they responded with this statement:
“We recognize that the Village of Hoosick Falls has incurred unbudgeted expenses over the past two years to address elevated PFOA levels in the Village’s municipal water supply. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, together with Honeywell, has agreed to compensate the village for these costs as outlined in the proposed settlement agreement. We hope to finalize the agreement in the near future.”
The mayor says its a deal the community needs to consider.
“With this agreement the village could be reimbursed for its expenses and that would make us whole and we would be able to continue moving forward,” said Borge.
WCAX will give have an update from the meeting as soon as one is available.