Well, there's no getting around all these stories. It's all about the water these past few days. We have the water main break in Lansingburgh; carcinogens in well water up in Hoosick Falls and lead in the water out in Flint. Water, water, water.
Troy, for the most part, has pulled together. Mantello has set aside partisanship and she and Mayor Madden appeared together at a press conference. There were no casualties. Something Trojans like to see. After all, we are all in this together. Unless you have water. Then, not really.
According to the Times Union:
"The city's $2.7 million project to replace the shattered 33-inch water main that caused a regional crisis will be fast-tracked, the City Council was told Thursday night.
The City Council voted 9-0 to approve the environmental review of the project to replace 3,700 feet of the cracked riveted steel main with a 36-inch cast iron main."
The issues even drew the attention of Congressman Paul Tonko (D) and State Senator Kathleen Marchione (R). Tonko has been working on this issue for over a year, gathering data on the need for updated infrastructure. But, we know how fast Washington works. The phrase "studying an issue" usually results in a report that gathers dust somewhere in D.C.
In the meantime, Cohoes and Waterford are weighing alternate water sources. An expensive proposition.
But, as always, there's one in every crowd: The man that reminds every woman of their first husband - District 2 Councilman, Mark McGrath.
During Troy's meeting, Councilman Mark McGrath said he was frustrated the city hadn't moved quicker last year to take on the water main replacement, after it was warned in a city engineering study about the need to replace the main.
The city was particularly concerned because of the large number of people served by the connection and the size of the main — the largest in the city at 33 inches, McGrath said.
Now, we like Mark. He's guaranteed fodder for any site but Mark, did you really need an engineer to tell you that infrastructure built during the Theodore Roosevelt Administration could fail, at any time? Mark has made a career of pointing fingers and laying blame. He is entering his ninth year as an elected official and his only initiative has been his selection as Mantello's caddy, with any extra $2,500 in salary.
People should be aware that not all public officials have been blind to the impending infrastructure problem. To their credit, both Mayor Pattison and Mayor Tutunjian did take efforts to address the issue. Tutunjian sought money to address some of these issues. Mayor Pattison took some criticism for allocating CDBG dollars and other revenue sources towards infrastructure instead of using the money to lower taxes.
It's never been more clear that the underlying root of Troy's problems was the serial bonding that took place in the 1990's. Without that, there would still be problems, to be sure. But, the debt incurred 20+ years ago unleashed a can of worms that hangs around our necks like an albatross of mixed metaphors.