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Letter to the Editor: Fed up with avoidable flooding problems

Editor:

I am writing this letter in regards to the Erie County Agricultural Society. According to the assessor’s office, their property is assessed at over $48,000,000. The tax collector’s office says they do not pay one cent in property taxes, even though there are houses on their property in which people live. I have lived in Hamburg all of my life and have paid property taxes for 45 years.

In 2009, I complained to the agricultural society, the town of Hamburg, the county of Erie and New York state about flooding problems in my yard. My flooding issues are attributed to many factors caused, partially, by all of the above mentioned.

The agricultural society enlarged their water retention pond to handle runoff from the new casino and parking lot. This pond empties into the ditch on South Park Avenue. The ditch then crosses under South Park, to the west side. It then runs through a drainage ditch that runs through my property.

This ditch is approximately 8 feet wide and 4 feet deep. When we get heavy rain and spring thaws, it fills to the top and often overflows. There is a drain tile that runs under Erie County-owned railroad tracks that is only 3 feet in diameter. It cannot handle all of this water.

Presently, the agricultural society is filling in their parking lot on the northwest corner of their property, because water lays there and they cannot use it to park cars. Now, this water is going to cause more problems for me. If I wanted to fill in my property to prevent flooding, the town would not let me do it, because it would affect my neighbors’ property.

So why can the agricultural society do it without anyone stopping them? Why? Because they don’t have to answer to anyone!

This is supposed to be the town that friendship built. I guess that all depends on who your friends are.

Albert Bloom

Hamburg
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