To the editor:
As of the morning of April 2, construction crews continue to work on the new jail build in Coxsackie. Apparently the County obtained a waiver of the state guidelines on essential construction from the State Economic Development Council, the state office tasked with the job of granting waivers.
This morning there were in excess of 60 personal vehicles parked at the construction site, signaling more than 60 workers laboring inside the confined space of that enclosed structure.
Why did the county receive a waiver on a project that is clearly not an essential vital infrastructure listed by the State in the guidelines, and which is not scheduled to receive its first detainee before July of 2021 (15 months from now)?
What safety measures are being taken at the site to assure that the workers, and their families and the residents of the county and surrounding counties, are protected from the ravages of the COVID-19 virus?
Today we do not have answers to those questions.
Therefore, to reassure the public we call upon Greene County Legislative Chair Pat Linger and County Administrator Shaun Groden to immediately:
1. Release to the public the application used to obtain the waiver and the response of the State.
2. Give the public the complete details of the safety measures being taken at the worksite to assure the health and well-being of the workers, and thereby all of us, during this COVID-19 crisis.
Given the understandable anxiety of the residents of Greene and surrounding counties during this crisis, these two simple steps would go a long way to relieve that anxiety.
The anxiety is very personal, at times - the President of the GCTA and his wife are in the high-risk age group with underlying health conditions, as are six of their neighbors.
So, when we say this can be a “life and death” situation, we are not exaggerating.
(As an addendum: We have been asked why the GCTA leadership has a personal animosity to Mr. Linger and Mr. Groden? The answer is, we have no personal animosity to either. We believe they make their decisions because. in their opinion, they are in the best interests of the residents of the county. However, we should, and will continue to, question those decisions, when we believe they are the wrong decisions and not in the best interest of the residents of the county.)
The Greene County Taxpayer Association