2009-01-17 / Editorials & Letters

Another Letter: Baltimore constructing 'Watertower to nowhere'

Editor,

The residents of Baltimore should listen up. For those unaware, the Village is about to become the industrial center of Ohio. We expect to make a stout bid for the Ford, GM, and Chrysler operations. No matte that these outfits are bankrupt, the Baltimore Village is also bankrupt. And just how do we attract these giants of the industry? Well, you see, the Village is now deeply involved in the actual construction of a second, million + dollar, stateof the-art water system that we neither need nor can afford (each system will be able to work independently of the other). And what is the rationale for two water systems in the small village that is starting to resemble a western ghost town? Well, you must be ignorant, since the Village council has already figured it out.

You see, as everybody knows, if you've got two functioning water systems, you're bound to attract the greatest industrial giants in this country. Makes no difference that you're just a small village with 2900 residents, you've gotta play it like the big boys.

After all, isn't this the town that Village Administrator Marsha Hall and council plans to encircle with a 4-lane outerbelt? You gotta think big since thinking big always comes just before the bankruptcy. One of Hall's greatest scheme's is to squander the village, and then move out. Remember the Dennis Rose fiasco?

If you've got the stomach for it, drive over to your water plant in Rome Side and see just what you will be paying for. While you are there, take a good look at the two tanks with the peeling off paint. These rusting-out tanks contain your drinking water, but they haven't been painted or maintained for over 40/50 years. You will enjoy seeing the piles of new water pipe and heavy equipment. The new water line will extend east - on private property - the best part of a mile over a creek, under a township roadway, across a crop field, under the railroad, make at least three right-angled bends, and terminate in the general area north of the bowling alley. Here the Village will blast itself squarely into the 21st century in terms of state-ofthe art water system design and development.

The Village will install a water storage tank of unknown capacity that is partly underground, electrically powered, motor driven, and computer controlled. Such an advanced system is far beyond the needs of a small village and the money involved is beyond Baltimore's realistic ability to pay.

Such advanced systems should only be considered by thriving towns such as Pickerington. Further, no one seems to know just who this new water system will serve. Like Alaska's "Bridge to Nowhere" Baltimore is going to send out a long water line hoping that someone will hook on but no one seems to know just who.

Rumor says that the Village is so desperate for money that they will try to peddle the water to Thurston. If so, Thurston can expect to pay exorbitant water fees for Baltimore's million dollar water fiasco. This entire system will be out of the village corporation and no sewer system is available to serve this new water facility.

Further, the consulting firm of Wilber-Smith Associates has convinced the crackpot village council that we need an advanced "loop" system to return water to its starting point. The loop principle is largely an engineering pipe dream and cities all across the U.S. have for two centuries done quite well with systems that have a terminus and not a "loop." And, contrary to the W-S claim, water is a stable compound and will not "stagnate" (decompose or degenerate) in a pipe that is properly sealed and protected even though the water is not constantly flowing. W-S further advised the Village that a 12" dia. pipe will carry more water than an 8" dia. one, a physics principle that no one on council understands even at this late date.

W-S instructs the town that only "developers" should pay for Baltimore's new water system. In fact, due to the village's unrealistic and stringent rules placed on potential developers that require them to provide water, streets, sewer, and surface water catch basins, it is clear that no developer is even interested in messing with the village. Has anyone seen any "developers" rushing in to give the village a new and free water system? And for all this priceless "engineering" advice, W-S charged the Village $85,000. Instead of using this money to buy pipe, village council got nothing more than $85,000 worth of WS hot air. We've got dangerous crackpots in control of village business and the taxpayers are paying dearly.

The new submerged water tank being built is inconsistent with good engineering principles and will be nearly impossible to maintain. Consider Baltimore's public swimming pool. Built underground with common steel parts, several years later the whole mess had rusted out requiring replacement components of stainless steel and costing the village more than $500,000.

Whether Wilber-Smith agrees or not, our water tower at the post office is "state-of-the-art", designed, engineered, and constructed by first-class personnel. it was engineered to serve the village well for many, many years. The problem lies with the village administration who has disgracefully neglected and failed to maintain our water plumbing system. Main water lines have been allowed to rust and rupture. And then look at the water tower itself. It is probably the most neglected, rusted, unpainted, and mal-maintained of any like facility in Fairfield County.

Experts tell us that we are in a world-wide recession. For the small-town two-bit politicians in the bunker to foist a ridiculous and unneeded water scheme on the residents with its inevitably increased water sewer rates, is nothing short of a tragedy. No one in the present administration is qualified to run town matters. There is no sense of imagination, foresight, or leadership. Without exception, each member is there simply because they need the extra money.

The only hopes for the village is to vote the present administration of partisan clowns out of office. But before they go, each should be horsewhipped twice in the public square - once for arrogance and once for ignorance.

Dave Mooney Baltimore

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