The United States of America may not always be united, whether we are talking states, counties, towns, villages or otherwise. But nevertheless, we remain united as a people, despite the differences of opinion.
The old adage of “You can’t please everyone all the time,” should be the theme song for local government. With members of the board elected to represent and serve all of the people, pleasing everyone is not always an easy task.
Take, for instance, the latest efforts made by the members of the town of Richfield town board. One issue, two ways of thinking. This time we’re talking the sewer and water district.
Last week the board approved a resolution that read, “The town of Richfield board supports the IDA and the Richfield Springs Industrial Park. The town is willing to grant an easement to the village of Richfield Springs to supply water and sewer to the industrial park, without creating a water district. The town board requests that our attorney notify the village and the IDA and begin to work on the easement.”
The motion was made by Councilwoman Barbara Petersen and seconded by Councilwoman Laurie Bond. All board members voted to approve the resolution, except Supervisor Wayne King, who abstained.
According to Petersen, who sponsored the resolution, this action makes it easier for the industrial park to get going and was an effort to keep it simple. It does not mean the water and sewer districts are dead, she emphasized.
King said he abstained because he thought the resolution was premature. He did voice concerns that the action “could put the kabosh on the whole industrial park.”
So the question of the day is whether the town and village will be moving forward to create a sewer and water district or not. Currently the town attorney, David Merzig, has the board’s approval to look into the matter further.
The ultimate goal of the town, according to King, is to create jobs by way of the proposed industrial park that was sited for the area. Right now no one can build at the location approved for the park because it does not have water or sewage capabilities. There is gas and electric available, but that is all. If all the utilities were in place, the park could be built, businesses would relocate there, and jobs would be available to local people.
The problem is that the village of Richfield cannot afford to put in sewer and water systems, even though the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Board of Health are saying they want a water district. The IDA was willing to fund the engineering work and maps to create the water district.
We salute all of our public officials for doing what they believe is in the best interest of their constituents, even if it means opposing viewpoints. Democracy is never easy.