THIS RESIDENT HAS BEEN STOPPED FOR A THIRD TIME in TWO YEARS AS OF the END of NOVEMBER, 2007!!
For more than two years, a three-time flood-victim in Eastern Pennsylvania has been halted, delayed and put at risk by the consistent delay tactics of Williams Township, Northampton County. They have done this in direct defiance of the strong recommendations of every State agency that strongly supports this resident\'s flood-repair project. The end result is that this flood victim has been left with no access to her home for more than three years, erosion continues to degrade and worsen a terrible situation left by IVAN in September 2004 (made worse by two subsequent floods in the region), her home now sits at terrible risk of further damage each time it rains, and her own personal safety is at risk.
This resident worked non-stop to help raise close to $200,000 of State and federal monies for herself and fellow neighbors to complete their reparations after IVAN, then was unceremoniously halted by Williams Township when she attempted to do the reparations on her own. The Township cited supposed Zoning Violations that have been reviewed in-depth by both the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) and DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development), and deemed inappropriate and unrelated to her project. DCED actually writes the boiler-plate zoning ordinances used by municipalities across the state, and noted that the supposed violations have been \"selectively enforced\" in her case, and overlooked in adjacent projects!!
For more than 24 months, every related State agency has been supporting her efforts to get her flood-repair completed, including: DEP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Fish and Boat Commission, the County of Northampton, the Conservation District, DCED, Delaware Riverkeepers, - even Governor Rendell\'s Office and the office of former President Bill Clinton! Each have written letters of support acknowledging this reparation is urgent and must be allowed to be completed; most of them multiple times. The Township continues to arrogantly ignore them.
She has provided the Township a continuous stream of information requested, and each time - Williams Township changes the playing field and requests more or different information. [In one case, they even disregard a signed, sealed drawing of her plans by the DEP\'s Director of Waterways Engineering!]
The DEP Director of Waterways Engineering has stated in a letter, \"I have been frustrated by the lack of cooperation and understanding shown ..in this matter. In the Township\'s regulatory role, you have the leeway to interpret items reasonably and be helpful. You can also make a resident [follow] a long, arduous process if you so choose... Time is of the essence. Too much unnecessary time, money and effort has already been expended here..\"
We are in the process of urging our representative government officials to help reduce the burden of flooding on all of us by making wise choices to prevent future flooding. But, there are those who have not moved forward since the original flood of Ivan - September 2004, and whose lives and livelihood have been put on hold/at risk to address flooding issues. Not because of the flooding itself, but because of the inappropriate, counterproductive actions of a local Township - adding insult to injury.
Flooding of one\'s home is an enormous emotional, financial and physical toll on its victims. In this light, it is unconscionable to add insult to injury by acting as Williams Township has done. We urge Pennsylvania legislature to put a stop to this absurd local abuse of power and allow this flood victim to get her life back!!
Pennsylvania Residents for Integrity in Local Government
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http://floodweary.blogspot.com VIDEO OF HIGH WATER: http://video.google.com/videoplaydocid=-9080075195951950886&pr=goog-sl Governmental/Public Interest Links: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/press.aspxid=989 http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/ http://www.governor.state.pa.us/governor/cwp/view.aspa=1115&q=454303 http://www.drconline.org/astheriverflows http://www.democracyrisingpa.com/index.cfmorganization_id=66§ion_id=992 BLOGS: http://delawareriverjournal-rivergeek.blogspot.com/2007/11/thiefdom-of-williams.html
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