By Ryan Franklin
Residents from county Route 85 asked Granby’s town board for help protesting a proposed expansion of the gravel mine and assistance paying for well testing during Wednesday’s meeting.
Lynn Lyons and Christine Bassett of county Route 85 told the town board a letter they had previously asked the board the send to the Department of Environmental Conservation regarding the mine’s expansion did not accurately address their concerns, specifically about what is happening and could happen to their water wells.
“There’s been nothing done to address what will happen downstream, to all of us,” Bassett said.
Lyons and Bassett asked the town to more adamantly protest the mine’s expansion rather than just reiterate to the DEC that the requirements of the permit must be met.
“We would like for them to back us to the DEC,” Lyons said. “We shouldn’t be having to do this.”
Town supervisor Ed Williamson told the pair that there was little the town could do since the permit had already been granted and the DEC was given lead agency status such a long time ago, before the current board administration.
“The DEC has a contract. You’re fighting with the state of New York. It’s a very difficult thing to fight a contract,” Williamson said after the meeting.
Williamson said that he had spoken to the DEC on several occasions about the wells and made sure that they knew the town wanted them to pay restitutions if anything happened to the wells.
“I have addressed the fact that we did not want any wells, and that if it did happen, they’d have to take care of it,” Williamson said.
Lyons and Bassett said that their wells and those of many others on county Route 85 have already been affected by the mine moving below the water table, and the proposed 14-acre expansion would only make things worse.
“Our wells are showing great distress. Our filters are black every two weeks,” Bassett said. “We’ve been there 35 years and haven’t seen anything like this.”
The pair asked that the town pay to have the wells of residents throughout county Route 85 tested, in addition to their request that the town further oppose the expansion.
Williamson said that county legislator Morris Sorbello had told him the county was looking into finding a grant to pay for testing, but was unsure if Granby could pay for any potential difference.
“That would be up to the county. The county does the testing of all wells, both dug and drilled, when they’re requested. We don’t have it in our budget,” Williamson said.
Williamson said he is constantly talking to county and DEC officials and will continue to ask them to address the most recent concerns of residents along county Route 85.