Monday, March 21, 2011

125- BeGuyling Study

Guy Thomas Kempe has produced a "study" that is designed to show that RUPCO's land parcel is entitled to town water, even though the building site is not in the water district. I produce the body of Guy's study, without all of the land parcel and tax information, and I comment in red throughout the text.

Report of Established Precedents Concerning Town of Woodstock Water System Boundary, Bisected Water District Properties & Tax Parcels, Pertaining to Woodstock Commons

Excerpts Concerning Municipal Water from Lead Agency Finding Statement

According to the adopted Finding Statement (7/01/2010) of the Woodstock Planning Board, lead agency for the environmental review for Woodstock Commons, “the EIS addresses as follows the probable effects of the proposed development on Municipal and Franchise Utilities:”

“1. Portions of the Project Site lie within both the Woodstock Town Water District and the Woodstock Town Hamlet Sewer District. This circumstance provides the owner of the Project Site legal access to both municipal water and municipal sewer facilities subject to Town Board approval.” The sewer law provides partially included parcels hamlet sewer access.  There is no corresponding law for the town water district.  Grouping the land parcel as partially in "both" water and sewer districts is pointless.  There are separate laws for water and sewer, so no grouping has any relevance.

“2. RUPCO intends to meet as an in-district user the water supply and sanitary sewage requirements of Woodstock Commons by installing on-site improvements and off-site connections to the municipal infrastructure.” Who cares what RUPCO's "intentions" are if they are not supported by law?

“3. The Woodstock Water District operates a Public Water Supply (NY PWS No. 5503394) and serves 743 customers (i.e. metered connections) within the hamlet of Woodstock and extending from the vicinity of Bearsville on its west to The Route 375 vicinity on its east. Portions of Project Site are located within the Water District and Woodstock Commons will utilize the Water District as its sole potable water supply source.” Again, who cares what RUPCO's "intentions" are if they are not supported by law?

“The Water District secures its water supply from drilled gravel wells in the western portion of the District near the Saw Kill. As indicated in the Engineer’s Report these wells have a reported estimated combined capacity of 575 gallons per minute (GPM) [Untrue.  This was the design capacity, never tested, and never claimed.]  and estimated total safe yield of 400 GPM [Yes, in 1985.] . On the basis of this estimated total safe yield of 400 GPM and based upon 12 hours,
or 720 minutes, of well pumping per day, the estimated daily safe yield of the District’s wells is reported to be 288,000 GPD.” It does not take an engineer to point out the difference between "design capacity" and "reliable capacity." This difference is purely one of language, manipulating it to change the meaning. RUPCO changed the meaning in the water superintendent's letter, and nobody noticed... for a while. RUPCO, in the DEIS, wrote that former Water and Sewer Superintendent Kevin Hunter, in a letter about town water and sewer capacity, "indicated the safe yield of the District's wells to be about 300,000 GPD." This is a quote from DEIS Section 3.9.1.  Now let us look at the actual letter written by Kevin Hunter.  It says: "The Town's water system was designed to produce 300,000 per day."  See, taking the phrase "designed to produce" and rewriting it as "the safe yield" when the last time the water was studies is 24 years prior to the statement, now 26 years ago, is fundamentally dishonest. 

“The estimated daily safe yield of 288,000 GPD is more than twice the Water District’s reported 2005 estimated average demand of approximately 140,000 gallons per day (GPD), as set forth in the most recent annual drinking water quality statement (2005) for the District.” Again, 288,000 is not the safe yield. It is RUPCO's lie.

“The Project Site lies within the only area of the Town, the hamlet of Woodstock, within which municipal water and/or municipal sewer facilities have been made available through the creation and operation of special utility districts to accommodate the residential, commercial, civic and institutional uses either existing or proposed to be located there in accordance with Town and County land use plans and related land use and development regulations.” This does not mean that all parcels in the hamlet have legal access to these utilities.  More misleading language.

“The Woodstock Commons development will be served by the Woodstock Water District including the District’s water supply wells located near Bearsville and not draw upon the groundwater resources of the Project Site for its domestic water supply. Provision of domestic water service to Woodstock Commons will increase average daily water demand within the
District by 8.2% to 162,500 GPD and consume only 9.1% of the District’s safe yield residual supply of 138,000 GPD.” Again, this statement assumes that Woodstock is capable of producing the quantity of water that individual well tests showed in 1985.  No simultaneous well tests were conducted, and no tests have been conducted since 1985. RUPCO simply misleads, lies, and distorts facts at every turn.

Now, a word about "precedent." Guy Thomas Kempe uses this word in the title of his "study," and then once again when showing properties bisected by the water district boundary.  However, Guy Thomas Kempe fails to discuss the issue of precedent.  

Guy Thomas Kempe is completely off base categorizing activities that occurred prior to the creation of DEC as “precedent.”  Precedent is a practice that can be cited when all other conditions and laws are the same.  I could cite precedent that says that it is acceptable for women to not be allowed to vote, because it was precedent for so long and for so many women.  However, since that time, women have been granted the right to vote, and so that particular precedent is irrelevant.  It's hard to believe that I have to explain this, but apparently it is necessary...

Above all else, there IS no town law that says properties bisected by the water district automatically are entitled to service.  Somebody on the RUPCO team appears to have invented that law.  It does not matter whether the Planning Board slept through the process, the citation is simply incorrect, and even Woodstock Town Attorney Futerfas said so, finally, officially in a letter to DEC, Feb. 2011.

But more about the particulars of the properties in Woodstock that Guy Thomas Kempe says are partially in the water district, and enjoy water service:

Kempe cites all these properties that are quite old, let’s say ranch houses for the most part, built in the 1950’s or 60’s, before the creation of the DEC, and so exempt from DEC rules.  I believe the DEC and many of its rules were created by passage of the Environmental Conservation Law of 1970.  Some of these houses joining the water district could have occurred with the expansion of the capacity in 1965, when the district approximately doubled in capacity.  I do not know what laws governed district expansion then, but Kempe certainly does not report any such laws, which means he does not know what they are, OR they state that these additions were permitted.

As for applications to extend the district in the 1970’s, I am not sure Guy Thomas Kempe is equipped to know whether the water district had approved extensions to partially included districts, in the 1970’s, or on a case by case basis.  He is completely off base in trying to apply a 2005 town water law retroactively to activities about which nobody seems to know any details, that occurred in the 1970’s or earlier.   He also failed to cite town water law from the period in question, meaning the 1970’s until passage of Town water law of 2005.


  1. Interesting propaganda here, Robin. First, you misidentify an eight page document clearly labeled "report" by calling it a "study." Was this purposeful, or sloppy on your part?

    Then, you quote only the "excerpts Concerning Municipal Water from Lead Agency Finding Statement" all of which appears in quotes on page one (none of which I wrote) and argue issues which were settled by action of the lead agency.

    Then, you completely ignore the map from the DEIS (GIS Schematic of Existing Infrastructure (DEIS Figure 3) which proves that the location of Woodstock Commons relative to the water district boundary was disclosed to DEC within the DEIS.

    Also, you didn't mention there was a list of correspondence to and from NYSDEC which indicates DEC participated in the environmental review and provided comment. A list of this correspondence follows:
    • DEIS Exhibit 15 - NYSDEC Letter with Attachments Re: Protection of Waters and Wetland Permits, April 18, 2005,
    • DEIS Exhibit 16A - NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, New York Natural Heritage Program, Letter, May 3, 2005
    • DEIS Exhibit 16B - Letter from Project Attorney to NYSDEC Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, New York Natural Heritage Program, Letter March 28, 2008
    • DEIS Exhibit 18 - Project Ecologist’s (NCES) Letter to NYSDEC, March 31, 2008
    • NYSDEC Response to Draft Environmental Impact Statement – Letter to TOW Planning Board (Lead Agency) from Rebecca Crist, March 24, 2009
    • NYSDEC Additional Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement – Letter to TOW Planning Board (Lead Agency) from Rebecca Crist, May 21, 2009
    • NYSDEC Comments on Department Jurisdiction – Letter to TOW Supervisor from Rebecca Crist, December 2, 2010

    Lasty, you ignored the Conclusion we reached:
    "Our research indicates that there are some 49 parcels that are bisected (i.e. located partially inside and out side) the water district boundaries. Of these, some 24 parcels are currently served by the system."

    I was unable to find records to indicate when properties were hooked up for water, because these were ministerial actions approved without town board resolution. Therefore, we believe RUPCO is equally entitled to water services as these other twenty four properties.

    Why won't you empower your fellow citizens with all the information so they can form an independent decision themselves?

    If your readers want to review the full report and decide for themselves, here is a link:
    -Guy Kempe

  2. Hello guy. I am sorry for calling your report a study, in quotation marks. It WAS a study, but yes, you called it a report. A report is more straightforward, a study the product of creative analysis. You did apply creative, VERY creative analysis, Guy. It was so creative, it was not even a study, really. More like a fantasy. Even so, sorry for the misplaced quotation marks.

    I quoted the excerpts because they were the most interesting part of the study- oops, I mean "report." Yes, come to think of it, you did appear to SIMPLY report results, however this is misleading.

    I did not ignore the map included in the DEIS. But now that you bring it up, the fact that you consider disclosing the fact that the property is only partially in the water district in a map ONLY, while writing in the body of the DEIS that the property is "in" the district is practically the dictionary definition of misleading.

    I did not mention a list of correspondences because they too are misleading in their mostly irrelevance. Most of those letters or whatever they were pertain to non-water district topics: wetlands, fish and wildlife, etc.

    I did not ignore your "conclusion," however the fact that your conclusion is a simple FRACTION is very sad. Anybody who works with statistics knows that you have to qualify them, and you did not do that. You still do not seem to understand that current law takes precedence over past action that have been made irrelevant by current law. Your 24/49 means nothing, particulary since you cannot even explain the process of granting water to the 24 properties that do have water service.

    Finally, thank you for the link to the online posting of this "report." I am all for total transparency.

    Have a nice day.