Twenty-years ago my wife and I bought one of the few homes we could afford in Williamstown. We live in the former Mill Supervisor's House next to the Photech property. And we have always been in favor of development of that land as long as it respected the history and helped our crowded neighborhood.
We were in favor when the Fire Department looked at it, the Youth Center, the Bike Path, and both the Scarafoni and Eby Group's developments.
After Hurricane Irene our thoughts have changed. Most people don't seem to realize that the Hoosic jumped its banks and rose up past the existing building leaving it completely in the raging river.
I find it interesting that the International Panel on Climate Change issued its most recent report on the same day the Affordable Housing Committee holds their "listening sessions." The report states: "... likely increase in frequency of heavy precipitation events or increase in proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls over many areas."
According to a paper in the journal Nature, this year, weather events that have previously been classified as "storms of the century" could become the storm of "every 20 years or less ... Climate change will probably increase storm intensity and size simultaneously, resulting in a significant intensification of storm surges."
I am amazed that some of our town committee people talk about the 100-year flood plain.
Don't build here and put people back in harm's way. It is my position that we will see the Hoosic jump its banks again in our lifetimes. What does the 100-year flood plain mean anymore? Secondly, I have to state that the current development concept drawn up by the planning board is clearly driven by three factors:
* Fear of the river.
* Fear of the pollution.
* Maximum housing possible.
The current concept does not respect the history and only harms my neighborhood.
Take a walk down Mill Street. It seems that people only look at an aerial map when they discuss the Photech site. My neighborhood needs the town's help. My neighborhood needs the town's attention. The current concept turns its back to my neighborhood and will ensure stagnation.
Make careful decisions. This is our future.