UPDATE: Press Release begs owners of 833 Helena Street to take responsibility for the spill; Region tries to play Victim Card,
That was perhaps the only question asked at the Helena Spill Open House that was answered. Sort of.
Ron Tripp, former infrastructure head for the Town of Fort Erie, now in a similar post at the Niagara Region, told the questioner that "We (meaning the region) have consulted an attorney regarding the Helena Street Spill." We could take that as a clue as to what concerned neighbours need to do in order to protect themselves from this massive Clusterf*#k.
A group of about forty people heard an hour long show full of evasions and "I don't knows" from officials at several levels of government. The Ministry of Environment representatives answered most questions with the evasive "It's under investigation." The building where the spill was presumed to have come from is owned by a numbered company. No one seems to know who is the owner, yet Larry Coplan from the Fort Erie Fire Department admitted that his department "was aware" of what was in the building prior to the spill.
Even the spill itself is a mystery as to how it came to the attention of officials. An anonymous tip from as passerby alerted the town and the Region "became aware of the problem." Now they're saying that they're almost finished with the clean-up of an admitted 100,000 cubic meter spill.
But they could not give any details nor any predictions on long term effects of the solvents that leaked into the ditch along Helena Street. "There's an order from the Ministry regarding the spill."
So, I looked it up. HERE IT IS. In other words: if you want to know details, look it up yourself!
Some great questions were asked; few were answered. As if we didn't already know:
By-law Enforcement is Complaint Driven.
Mayor Redekop admitted that the Town is often "reactive" when confronted with problems, rather than "pro-active." He said things should be handled differently. (Ho-hum)
Kimberly Zanko emceed the meeting, apparently reacting to numerous phone calls and inquiries from concerned citizens. Stephen Passero slithered in during the meeting and Sandy Annunziata did ask some pertinent questions. Harry Schlange and his Hobbit friend stayed for a few minutes. It was like Old Home Week for Tripp and Schlange. Tripp is still way out of his depth and Harry Schlange is now running the region in the same way he ran Fort Erie as its CAO.
Too bad those in attendance were not given the respect they deserve by having their questions answered. I'm curious to see what other media sources say about the Open House.