Residents from Lockport's Lowertown met with public officials over the long weekend, and while many are wondering if they're eligible for a break on their home assessments, the meeting's hot topic was the safety of the neighborhood.
Greg Sutton of the state's Department of Environmental Conservation spoke to a tense crowd, explaining that the project was expanded to include Eighteen Mile Creek and adding that the Environmental Protection Agency is now involved.
Questions from the audience ranged from how large an area is affected, to the safety of vegetables in residents' gardens. Many also expressed concerns about the value of their homes. Health issues were the biggest topic of people leaving the meeting, many of them talking about family members that had cancer. Several refused to talk publicly but expressed anger over the lack of action and clean up.
Liz Holland said she recently moved into the area and she told our Donna Pieszala that on top of learning about contamination, her assessment was increased by 110 percent.
Sutton said the state is trying to get the area transferred to the federally funded Superfund program, but that could delay cleanups in the area. That left residents like Ellen Kander angry with the lack of planning.
The projected cost of the cleanup at the site is $22 million.