Resist the smart meters
While we sleep, utility companies, including the former Central Hudson, are installing without authorization from homeowners, smart meters. These meters are digitally operated, usually wireless and are a replacement to the analog electric, gas and water meters we currently have. Analog meters have been known to be safe, however many questions are arising about smart meter replacement in regards to health.
These new meters emit microwave radiation linked with health and environmental problems, and can reportedly catch fire and damage appliances. It is unclear if homeowner insurance would cover such an event. Utility companies, including the former Central Hudson, are claiming they do not use smart meters but if the meter emits a pulsing microwave radio frequency it is still classified as a smart meter.
In a “mesh network” such as developments or houses that are near each other, usage data is transmitted from one smart meter and sent by wireless microwave radio signals on to the next houses in the area. Reportedly, accumulated data can be sent to the utility’s data collection unit on through a telephone wire where it can be sent to a data collection company who could buy information for marketing services.
Before work begins installing these devices, public hearings should be held as well as studies concerning health issues relating to them.
County Legislator, District 2
New water meters are safer, cheaper for town
It is truly a shame that someone can write a letter to the editor and incite the public and instill fear in them with misinformation and false accusations.
In response to Donna Greco’s letter in last week’s paper, here is the truth and facts as to why I, along with the rest of the Town Board, made a decision to replace the water meters in the Glasco Water District.
When Mrs. Greco said the Town Board voted to spend a whopping $814,738.19 on unnecessary, unwanted, unwarranted and unhealthy smart meters, what she failed to mention is the fact that the town will be reimbursed 55 percent or $448,106 from a USEPA grant, thus bringing the total cost of the new meters and their installation to $366,632.19. Now, $366,632.19 is still a large sum of money but as I tried explaining to Mrs. Greco on numerous occasions, on Jan. 4, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Reduction of Lead In Drinking Water Act, which in effect revised the definition for “Lead Free” in the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as it pertains to pipe, pipe fittings, plumbing fixtures and fixtures. In the US, all current waterworks brass becomes obsolete and cannot be installed or sold after January 4, 2014. This new law affects a variety of water distribution products including water meters. So it was really a matter of pay $366,632.19 now or pay in excess of $814,738.19 in the near future because if we did not act now, the town would lose the USEPA grant and on top of that, if Mrs. Greco is truly interested in the safety of the new water meters why is she so quick to discount the fact that the old ones have parts that contain lead, which has a proven track record of being harmful.
Mrs. Greco also states in her letter that the Town Board passed this resolution without the citizens of Saugerties having anything to say about it. Again, she fails to mention that we had a public hearing on Feb. 6, 2013. Along with this I personally requested that a representative from Everett J Prescott Inc. came and give a presentation so that the public could ask any questions that they may have had regarding the new water meters. In addition to this meeting being published in the paper, I personally sent Mrs. Greco an e-mail informing her of the date and time of the meeting. It should also be noted that since Mrs. Greco did not attend the meeting, I have told her on numerous occasions that the rep would be willing to come back and give another presentation.
After reading Mrs. Greco’s letter to the editor, I called the superintendant of water for the town of Ulster, John Rose. Per Mr. Rose, the Town of Ulster has been installing the same type of meters that we will be installing, for the past eight years and there have been no reported problems.
Along with the fact that by law we will not be able to fix or replace parts on the current meters after 1/4/14 due to a potential health risk. The new meters are much more efficient and the entire water district can be read in approx 4 hours vs. the 3 ½ – 4 weeks that it currently takes to read all of the meters.
I would respectably ask that if anyone has any questions or concerns regarding the new water meters, to please call me at 246-5010 or 845-399-8577.
Town of Saugerties Deputy Supervisor and Liaison to the Water and Sewer Department
Town ignores risks of costly new meters
Feb. 6, a bitterly cold frigid night, was selected for the public hearing to discuss proposals for the Glasco Water District. One member of the District braved the cold to travel to Saugerties for this hearing. A few minutes of information was presented; the Town Board meeting began and Supervisor Kelly Myers and the Board passed the proposals in spite of my objection that there were unanswered questions and she did not allow time for public comment.
Shortly afterwards I wrote the Town Board about my concerns to impose smart water meters on the Glasco Water District residents. No response was given to my concerns. Again at the June Town Board meeting Myers, well aware of residents’ objections in a style of arrogance reminiscent of others whose length of office has exceeded their capacity to serve, announced that the plan to install the smart meters would move forward.
The Glasco Water District has now begun to enforce the Town Board’s decree. They seem to be targeting unsuspecting seniors. Many residents objected by not scheduling appointments for installation of smart water meters. Now the installers are appearing at homes without appointments. In one instance the senior was home alone and was told that her current meter was slow; the smart meter installation proceeded before the younger family members arrived home. In the second instance a widow was told she had no choice but to allow them into her home to replace her older meter with a new smart meter. Both report feeling pressured and that they had no choice.
Why were residents of the Glasco Water District not allowed time for public comment? The project involves expenditures of over well over $800,000 and bonding of 50 percent of project costs on district residents. When will the supervisor and the Town Board notice that they are to serve? Why was the Glasco Water District targeted and other water districts in the town of Saugerties exempted? Who profits from incurring debt on the Glasco Water District homeowners? Does Myers and the Town Board care about economic problems in Saugerties? Are they oblivious to those who have lost or are losing their homes? Why do they keep burying homeowners with more and more property fees and taxes?
Are Kelly Myers and the Town Board uncaring about the health risks associated with smart meters? On May 24 the neighboring Town Board of Woodstock voted unanimously to prohibit the installation of smart meters in Woodstock. Their decision was in response to complaints by residents of illness and smart meters installed at their residences. But in Saugerties objecting residents are told that cell phones emit radiation too. However one can choose whether and how much to use a cell phone while there is no such control with a smart meter.
The violation of privacy that accompanies smart meters warrants a discussion of its own. Keep in mind that this is America and we decide which devices we want and can afford, provided they do not violate the law. Your home is your own and you do not have to allow anyone in your home to install a smart meter.