To the Editor:
Before I start to share concerns about the Norwood Regatta article (Aug. 21 -27), I want to introduce myself. I worked for Niagara Mohawk in the hydro generation department for 25 years. This side of their business was sold in 1998 first to "Orion Power", then to Reliant Power, then to Brascan Power, which then became Brookfield Renewable Power. I started my career as a janitor for Niagara Mohawk in 1972 and retired 33.5 years later as an area superintendent of operations and maintenance. This gives me a bit of knowledge concerning the Norwood Lake Regatta.
Mr. McFaddin is the founding father of the Norwood Lake Association. My personal belief is this Regatta has out-lived itself. I doubt that during this next weekend, Norwood will see 1,000 spectators or 50 tourists. If we do, it may be because they are finding their way to the Madrid for the annual St. Law. Power & Equip. Museum function or maybe they are going to Norfolk for a chicken BBQ and lawn mower races.
The purpose of this letter is not to challenge Mayor Jim on attendance records or what his Lake Association does with their money. God only knows what eradicating the Milfoil problem in Norwood Lake has to do with our everyday village business. My concerns are what he is quoting in this front-page news article. I wish to challenge a few comments:
1. Norwood Lake was unregulated:
The Raquette River is known as the "work horse" in the USA hydropower industry. It has been regulated since the 1950's by not only FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) but by many other agencies having a say in what happens on this river. Pond levels and water flow have been regulated for the past 60 years.
2."During the National Grid re-licensing Norwood Lake Association partnered with them to create a recreation program.":
The Norwood Beach and associated land was donated by the Woodward family. Gravel for the main entrance road and for the foundation for the arena was donated by my father (Robert E. Haggett) in the early 1970's. This was done well before Mr. McFaddin formed his "Norwood Lake Association" in the '80's and National Grid never was a part of the re-licensing program. I'm sure that National Grid gives donations to their consumers but the picnic tables, swimming-warning buoy's along with many other donations were made by the associated power companies, not by National Grid.
I end with this comment:
In each Brookfield Power House there is an Emergency Action Plan in case there is an oil spill into the river. This very detailed document is pages long and must be followed to the “letter T." If not, huge extensive fines are placed on the originator of the oil spill.
The last quote that I want to share from Mayor McFaddin is: They are "experienced drivers and they know the speed they have to maintain. If they do sink, they have a crane that raises the machine, and they are completely sealed so there is no environmental concerns."
Mayor McFaddin: Do you and your Norwood Lake Association have an emergency action plan filed with the New York State DEC if there is an oil/gas spill from one of these machines? Does your Norwood Lake Association have the proper insurance to guarantee that you can handle the multi-million dollar fees in cleanup costs and lawsuits by river front property owners in case you have a spill? If not, won't the Village of Norwood Taxpayers be held accountable for any environmental damages/cleanup expenses as you are holding your private Norwood Lake Association event on Norwood Village property?