Friday, February 20, 2009

Response to last nights propose incinerator meeting

at 537 Million Dollars, you would think you get what you pay for, but the underlying risks from a waste incinerator, you pay for more than you bargain for. When I purchase my home they never disclosed that an incinerator might go up in my neighborhood. It's the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy of Realtors. I had to sign a waiver saying that if my neighbor decided to purchase cows I couldn't complain about the smell b/c afterall Frederick is a farming town. Um... I didn't sign a waiver for the smell of this right next to my house.

Dear Commissioners:
I want to thank you for taking the time to listen to the citizens of Frederick last night.
As I sat and listened to the preceding last night, as so many others, I was able to get a glimpse of the personalities of each commissioner. I don’t pretend to know each of you personally and I don’t pretend to know what has taken place behind closed doors pertaining to the discussions of the ‘incinerator’ idea. However I could clearly see who was for, who was against and who had simply ‘had enough’.

Madame Commissioner and Commissioner Thomson, I believe, were much on the defensive last night. Madame Commissioner your demeanor seemed like one of possible confliction, trying to please both sides. I had just wished that Commissioner Thomson conveyed that the comments made by the citizens last night were more important to him. I couldn’t get past the numerous comments about wasteful diapers, point of orders, tight lips and rolling of the eyes. While some from the community were in attack mode, the majority in attendance were and still are truly and genuinely concerned with the adverse affects this would have on our families. We don’t mean to bash you with pleas to make you feel guilty for decisions you have made or to sound redundant, it’s just all of us wanted a chance to speak. We elect our officials in the hopes that their decisions speak for the community.

The idea that the responsibility to report ideas, discussions and proposals lies solely in the medias hands is absurd. Not all of us have a chance to rest let alone read a paper. I try to keep up, but sincerely, your letter on the 3rd was the first indication to me just how close to my home the incinerator would be. Commissioner Thomson suggested that it was my own fault for not keeping up, well I have registered this morning to your email alert system. Hopefully that will help. But Mr. Thompson, again, I work 40 hours a week so that my family has healthcare, and my husband works about 60 hours a week to pay the daycare and the mortgage. The few hours we have aren’t spent on a computer, watching TV or reading a paper. It normally consists of making dinner, giving a bath and reading Thomas and Friends or playing games with our children. Our children, our reason for moving here in the first place.

Due to the high incidents of reoccurring cancers in my family, we actively participate in cancer fundraisers as a family (even the little ones). I couldn’t imagine one day being a part of a cancer cluster research study. I have always said that if I got cancer, I might just shoot myself. After watching my Aunt die a slow painful death from the disease, I couldn’t bear to do it. To hold out on hope and prayer alone b/c medicines weren’t working.
Although Commissioner Jenkins might not believe the hysteria’s concerning the health risks, I do. I urge the commissioners to visit an organization such as John’s Hopkins and witness firsthand the devastating effects cancer has on the human body and soul.

Commission Jenkins.. you stated the following : ‘. “I don't believe all the hysteria surrounding WTE facilities”.” Nobody will be living next to one, but having been to the WTE in Montgomery County I would not have that objection.”
Then I ask you, I have a nice property, 1 acre, four bedrooms, 2.5 baths across from a farm where you can pick fruit off the vine and eat it, backs up to a farm of sheep and goats that are friendly enough to come up to you and let you pet them, I have scenic views of Sugar Loaf Mountain, New siding, nice deck, just the perfect setting. When you build the incinerator close to my beautiful home, will you come purchase it from me for what I owe on it? (b/c we know once the incinerator goes in, I couldn’t sell it for more)
My neighbor’s are friendly people and I am sure they will be stuck there too, but don’t worry, they would welcome a new family with open arms.

This way I can move back to the rural views of Calvert County where I grew up. And my children will be safe(r). I am in real estate, I know how this works. Recently due to the market changes I lost my job in the mortgage industry. When I found another job I started promoting with in my office, the idea of promoting local businesses with free welcome packages with every loan application. We through something in there about helping out the SPCA as well. With the rise of people losing their homes, there is a rise of animals losing theirs as well. If you have anything about the Frederick Government you would like to include to promote more community activism, I would love to include it.

Being so close to this proposed incinerator I wonder why I still don’t have recycling in my neighborhood. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that people will be less inclined to recycle if the incinerator goes up. And I ask, why aren’t the schools recycling???? That bewilders me. When I am in the PTA, and I will be one day, you can be sure that things like that won’t get by me.

I call attention to one citizen’s idea and maybe Commissioner Hagen you can promote this, the balloon idea was wonderful. I as a citizen who drive by that site with my children every day, would love to see what this massive project would look like. Is this possible? I am sure there are some organizations that would donate the use of the balloons.

When attending last night I was hoping to hear more about the agenda on addressing the traffic as well, but I haven’t. The trains going through will back up traffic for trucks immensely. And we all know how ruthless truck drivers are on the road, the automatic assumption of right of way when crossing a street, the dodge of a light b/c it’s harder to rev the truck up, the disregard for delegated speed limits. With my experience of Essroc, it’s scary dodging a dump truck when I have my two babies in the car. I once had the pleasure of being 5 months pregnant, high risk, and run off the road into the ditch by a dump truck that didn’t even stop to see if I was okay. I got out of my car and sat in the grass crying too afraid to get back in the car.
Dodging a truck can be like dodging a bullet.
How is the county prepared to handle the traffic, the road maintenance and the enforcement of speeds and driving laws?

Can you please tell me about the plant emissions monitoring that is going to be set up and the possible proposals of ash clean up in the area?
Can you tell me about the possible proposals by the county to help homeowners that are in danger of losing property values b/c of the plant operating so close to their residential neighborhoods?

I am not for the plant, but I am always for discussion. Without discussion there can be no change.


paz y amor said...

Unfortunately, the mofos who make the decisions that affect us, don't and WON'T live close to these toxic structures. It's all about the $$$$ if you ask me...

e.Craig Crawford said...

Our Montgomery County has been operating 2 incinerators for years. They conform to EPA specs, and emit no odor. They are also located in industrial neighborhoods.

The impact of such a facility in plain view from a residential neighborhood could be significant. Real Estate appraisers call it external obsolescence.

In the appraisal of a home, when the appraiser assigns such obsolescence to that property, and a "dollar" adjustment will be made to all comparable sales not suffering similar obsolescence.

The result is lower indicated market values from those comparables.

Ellie said...

They are now conducting a cancer cluster study in Dickerson ECraig... for the mere fact that cancers, especially in the young, have spiked in the area.

This is what concerns me the most.

being in real estate, obolescence is a very real thing to me. I totally know what you mean.