Water violation dismissed against Murray

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 November 2016 at 10:04 am

MURRAY – A violation against the Town of Murray for not sufficiently protecting the public water supply has been dismissed.

Town attorney Jeff Martin made the announcement during his report at the Murray Town Board meeting on Tuesday evening. Martin represented the town during an administrative hearing at the Orleans County Health Department.

The violation stemmed from an incident in August, when a farmer was utilizing a fire hydrant to irrigate fields.  The town allows for bulk water usage from hydrants and the process is monitored by Murray Highway/Water Superintendent Ed Morgan.

The hearing resulted in “beneficial dialogue regarding ways to better regulate the use of hydrants,” Martin told board members. He noted that according to Morgan, there are 377 fire hydrants in the town.

Councilman Paul Hendel thanked Martin for his work representing the town.

“Thanks to your hard work, the truth comes out,” Hendel said.

Council members noted that the violation was issued based on a photograph – the county health department did not travel to Murray for a field inspection before the violation was issued.

Discussion of the bulk water/hydrant use issue continued later in the meeting when resident Kerri Neale reported his wife had recently seen a tanker truck being filled with water from a hydrant and that the cap was left off the hydrant when the tanker left.

Neale said he called Ed Morgan, who told Neale he would check into the situation and that a meter had been assigned. Neale asked that the town be vigilant in monitoring bulk water use and to make sure meters and back-flow devices are used.

Supervisor Morriss said Morgan knows the norms of water usage in the town and would be alert to any unusual incidents of high usage. Morgan was not in attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. (Morgan, the county’s Republican Party chairman, was at Donald Trump’s victory party in New York City.)

Hendel said if the current procedure for bulk water usage in the town leads residents to question the integrity of water, then, “We need to take a look at our procedures to see if there is something we need to tighten up on or do in a different way.”

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