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Letter to the Editor: Time to Give DPW a Safe and Efficient Workplace

October 31, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:

Driving home on the unexpectedly icy roads Thursday afternoon it was such a relief to cross into Canton where streets had been plowed and treated! It is a testament to the quality of our DPW team, their professionalism and work ethic, that despite working from an antiquated horse barn in sub optimal conditions, they take such good care of our town. Now it’s time for the town to repay that respect and service by giving the DPW a facility that provides a safe and efficient place to work. We need to move forward now. The town DPW doesn’t deserve to have to wait any longer to have safe work environment. 
At the last town meeting, I heard a new suggestion for locating the town garage at current Mitchell Volkswagen site. This site, owned by Cadle properties, is many years delinquent in paying its taxes. It is also site where Swift Chemical manufacturing dumped toxic chemicals. In 2000, Swift was ordered to pay $2 million dollars to clean up the site which was never paid. In the 1970s, Swift dumped chemicals on the site which got into the groundwater and contaminated local wells. The site has never been cleaned up. So the site requires a major clean up and is tangled in a legal quagmire of who will pay for the work as well as the delinquent taxes. The site in question is also located on one of the most traffic congested roads in our town.

The town has repeatedly rejected referendums to move the Garage. By default, the town has repeatedly voted to keep the Garage right where it is. The town Garage referendum will ensure our DPW have a safe place to work right where it is. We need to move forward and improve the Garage facility now.

Mark Osmolski
Canton 

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