The approval by the Amenia Town Board of the Silo Ridge Project and its disregard of the few problems cited by members of the public has been rewarded by an Article 78 proceeding in the Supreme Court that challenges that approval. That action was filed on Dec. 18.
A group of concerned citizens formed the Wassaic Watershed and Viewshed Protection Project to protect two community interests: 1- the view both of and from Delavergne Hill that is often called “the gateway to the Berkshires” and 2- the quality and quantity of water that flows into the tributaries of the Ten Mile River from the streams that drain the Silo Ridge project. WWVPP was one of the petitioners in the action. Others were landowners in the Wassaic hamlet.
While the lawsuit is devoted to water issues, viewshed issues remain a vital interest of the WWVPP membership, and will be a central concern.
One of the fears is that the water used by residents in the hamlet may become contaminated either by the chemicals used on the golf course, or by the chemicals that might leach into the aquifer supplying the Silo Ridge project from the adjoining land fills. While the PCB’s from one of the two landfill sites have been remediated, other chemicals believed to be carcinogenic might leach into the aquifer. There is evidence that such chemicals might have already leached into the aquifer.
Fred Whitridge, as the leading spokesperson for the group filing the action, voiced the hope that a solution could be worked out between the parties that will realize lasting benefits to the community but not delay or impose financial burdens on the development. He added that the project should be of lasting benefit to Amenia and in fact is a welcome addition, but the town’s vital resources need not be sacrificed for that project to succeed.
Disclosure: the editor and publisher of this paper is one of the members of WWVPP.