Duplicate services viewed as a benefit

To the Times of Ti: From the mayors chair; the primary responsibility is the safety, health and welfare of the people. In Port Henry we have 25-30 percent of the people in the town of Moriah living on about 2 percent of the land base. The houses are wood frame and most were built 100 years ago or longer. These houses are very close together with some being only 10, 20 or 30 feet apart. The topography of the Port Henry / Moriah area is shaped like a funnel with 98 percent of the land base draining into 2 percent of the land base, which is Port Henry. The major streams are Grove stream (next to Vics), the McKenzie brook (next to the Bait Shop), and the Mill brook on the north end. There is a history of flooding in the area and as recently as 2005 we were isolated because roads were flooded and/or washed out. Movement in, out and around was severely hampered and areas were defined in isolated pockets. People worked well together, reciprocated with each other as their isolation dictated and coped together without much aid from the outside. The (Essex) County Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan categorizes events described above as happening more frequently. Global climate change, debatable as it is, causes worry in the planning equation because as safety goes, planners must err on the side of caution. This writer has read extensively on the increase in ocean temperature and the cause and effect of increased inland storms. Even the casual observer must note the reports on increased storm water events throughout the county. There is a substantial population of ARC and elderly concentrated in the Port Henry area; power goes out more frequently, storm water and ice/ snow storms are not uncommon. Fire, shelter, medical and evacuation services are woefully lacking. The juxta position of the three fire companies in Moriah is a compliment to the people that set them up, because if isolated they can function, if not, they can work together which they do well. From the mayors chair duplicity and redundancy are assets to provide response options given the complexity of our area. Dr. Gary Cooke
Mayor, Port Henry

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