Feedback: Lyonsdale Residents Worry About Town

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During a brief meeting Tuesday, the three remaining members of the Lyonsdale Town Council chased the public and news media out of the town hall.

When 7 News reporter John Moore asked for an interview, town board member Nancy O'Brien-Dailey said, "Not at this time, thank you."

Outside, town residents said that's what they get, too, when they ask questions, for example, about Friday's resignation of Town Supervisor Marylou Hawk.

"Nobody has bothered to tell us why the supervisor or the deputy supervisor also resigned," said Nancy Ouellette, who lives in the Lewis County town.

Hawk could not be reached for comment.

Tuesday's meeting was called to appoint a new supervisor, but that didn't happen. 

Once again, residents said they got no answers about the town's financial problems.

The town reportedly had to borrow $100,000 recently.

Plus, a state audit of the town has been underway since October.

"We just want to know how they do things and you can't get an answer to how they're spending our money," said Brian Ouellette, town resident.

Meanwhile, town leaders may also be on edge over an oil spill at the highway department.

A February letter from the state warns the town it could be responsible for decades of spilled oil.

Nobody knows how much.

"They don't know if they're going to dig to China, here, or be here half an hour. So there's really no set dollar amount that this is going to cost," said Highway Superintendent Matt Farr. 

The state Department of Environmental Conservation also cited the Lyonsdale Highway Department for violations of the state Petroleum Bulk Storage regulations and said the town could be liable for a civil penalty of up to $37,000 a day for each violation.

Following a January 28 inspection, the DEC found:

-    that the department had two unregistered fuel tanks
-    That two out-of service tanks hadn't been properly cleaned and closed. Highway Superintendent Farr said that will be taken care of this week.
-    That fill ports on fuel tanks weren't properly color-coded
-    That an above-ground tank wasn't protected from corrosion
-    That tanks hadn't been inspected by the town at least monthly, as required
-    That a secondary containment system lacked a dike valve, or valves were left open
-    That an above-ground tank wasn't properly labeled.

The Notice of Violation from the DEC noted that "a person may be held criminally liable if any of the forgoing violations was the result of intentional, knowing, or criminally negligent conduct."

Farr said several of those violations did not apply at all and all the remaining have been corrected.

He said the town will not face any penalties.

Back at the town hall, suspicion seems to reign.

O'Brien-Dailey asked for John Moore's name.

When he gave it, she asked, "Could I have some identification please?"

John showed his ID and was able to speak briefly with O'Brien-Dailey.

She then told him to leave.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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