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Westcott update: On schedule, on budget

A public information session regarding the state of Westcott Reservoir Project brought about 30 Geddes residents to town hall Wednesday Nov. 12 in search of answers.

A short presentation by CH2M Hill Project Manager Matthew Marko aimed to update residents on the project maintained the renovation was "on schedule and on budget."

But some residents shared fears that the current retention basins were inadequate, following a severe rainstorm near the end of October.

Albert Moore, whose property begins less than 70 feet away from the basins, was concerned with the standing water and whether it would be present throughout the next two years of construction.

He also inquired whether the water would attract mosquitoes in the warmer months.

New York State Commissioner of Water Michael Ryan replied that prior to construction the reservoir had held stagnant water and that mosquitoes had not been a problem previously.

Marko said the information session was planned months ago, as he had told the town board and residents that he would periodically hold such meetings to keep the public up-to-date on the progress and field questions from residents.

In the week before the meeting, several calls came in questioning the efficiency and adequacy of the reservoir and Marko said he was not surprised when the same concerns were raised during the meeting.

"The same people that had called me attended the information session. I knew folks were going to want more detail, they wanted to get that detail and wanted to have that discussion in a group setting," Marko said.

The meeting ran longer than the time allotted and was displaced to another meeting room in the Town Hall, where Marko said he spoke with residents about the same topics.

He added the next information session would probably be in January. Marko said until the project is finalized in 2010, changes will continue to be made as the project nears completion. Residents should expect to see further improvements after the holidays.

The project hotline remains open. Residents with questions or concerns may call 380-3403 to speak with someone about the reservoir.

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