Author Topic: Canal Embankment Safety - What Perinton Leaders don't want to face.  (Read 36 times)

Doug K

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Probably one of the last posts regarding the safety of Perinton's Erie Canal Neighbors that I will be making. The Erie Canal safety message is never going to be heard there, because it doesn't sit well with local "management" there. And I have learned that if management doesn't listen, there's no sense talking or trying to explain a problem or seek a solution.

I've finally come to realize that this communication issue isn't with a Facebook group in Perinton fighting against Erie Canal safety repairs, though they have done a good job at being a "thorn in the side" of the New York State Canal Corporation. No the idea of this group believing they could stop a public safety program, being run by two NY agencies tasked with the job of  protecting NY citizens and keeping them safe, was laughable at best, but a rather sad indictment of the community that supported them.

This Facebook group is dying away, along with the thought that fighting against a Public Safety Program was ever a good idea in the first place.

The real communication problem & total lack of understanding of these Canal Embankment safety problems, lies with the LEADERSHIP of the Town of Perinton and those other towns who just didn't like being the center of attention of this NYSCC Vegetation Management Program. It's the fault of Pittsford, Perinton & Fairport government officials who were stunned when the Canal Corporation made them the CENTERPIECE of their Public Safety efforts to fix unsafe canal embankments across the State. When they saw their community name plastered all over the FIRST presentation of the Vegetation Management Program, they all tweaked and said "Not us, not our community, it's all lies".

Let's go back to the "roots" of this Canal Corporation embankment safety work, the Vegetation Management Program. Here's parts of the Presentation that was given to residents of Pittsford & Perinton in Late 2017... and note who the INTENDED audience has always been. I was at this meeting and spoke up for Erie Canal Neighbor safety, and also to support the program. Maybe the Engineer in me saw the folly of fighting AGAINST public safety a bit quicker than most, it's just something you don't do.

You can view the original presentation on the Canal Corporation website.

Many have forgotten how all of this started...

After talking about what happens in the event of a canal embankment failure, and also showing the last one in the modern time of the canal, the NYS Canal Corporation gave a direct notice to Perinton & Pittsford about the danger in their own community. Look at these slides and pictures.

Take a look at where this flood hazard danger is... almost 1/2 of the Town of Perinton, including Brentwood & Crystal Springs neighborhoods. There's an elementary school in the possible flood path, and all that folks in Perinton are concerned about seems to be the ravings of a Facebook group saying "everything is fine, no danger here". Once again it's seems like the messenger did their job, but the people who heard the message just wanted "blood", because they didn't like what was being said about "their towns & villages".

Sadly this presentation was not received the way it should have been by the local governments, or the citizens they serve. So what did the Canal Corporation do? Did they quit and say "oh well we tried to save them"? Nope, they tried to warn the local Perinton community with a video of this embankment safety program on YouTube. That also seemed to miss it's mark as the community & residents are still answering Town Of Perinton survey questions about continuing their "fight against canal safety"

Maybe want to review that video again Perinton...

After all the DANGER hasn't gone away just because of a Facebook group or the denial of your Town Leaders

Here's a last slide mix from that presentation, again it couldn't get any more specific on the safety problem, the root causes, the solutions, and why it was important to the eastside communities to take note of the danger in their midst. Suggest that these communities go and take a fresh look at the whole presentation and think about the safety message the ECNA has also tried to progress.

None of this has changed the important facts:

1) The Erie Canal raised embankments are still unsafe, vegetation management is still needed.
2) The NYS Canal Corporation is still planning on getting their embankment safety work done.
3) The final touches on an Earthen Canal Embankment Clearing Guidebook is almost complete (part of their new SEQR requirements).
4) NYPA has cleared all of the Article 78 hurdles that the Towns of Pittsford & Perinton had thrown in their path as a result of their lawsuit (and maybe from listening to a Facebook group that steered them wrong about suing public safety work.)

What has changed is that maybe the NYSCC will pay closer attention to those who misrepresent the truth in the future on their new EEIP work

What hasn't changed is the simple fact that some eastside government officials will still stick their heads in the sand regarding community safety along the Erie Canal.

These "civic leaders" seem to care more about being on the right side of "social media trends" than on the right side of public safety in their own canal towns & villages.

And that issue my friends can easily be fixed the next time Perinton, Pittsford & Fairport go to the Voting Booths and make their voices heard loud and clear regarding the SAFETY of Perinton, Pittsford & all residents in between.

« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 09:24:28 am by Doug K »

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