Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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August 14, 2013

What's next?

Water Street homeowners not the only ones with questions about Eighteenmile Creek cleanup

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A conversation that began Tuesday will continue in regards to cleaning up Eighteenmile Creek.

Representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shared their approach to a three-phase cleanup of the creek, focusing on a variety of actions for the first phase. That would be the remediation of nine residential properties on Water Street and demolition of the former Flintkote building on Mill Street.

A group of residents responded with questions and concerns. Some condemned local leaders, charging that they have not done enough to help property owners affected by the creek.

“Local officials did nothing,” said Mike Pillot, a longtime Lowertown resident who also lost a pair of mayoral elections.

He gave credit to former U.S. Rep. Kathy Hocul and Shirley Nicholas, a city resident who has been extremely active on Eighteenmile Creek issues.

Half a million dollars have been spent on concerts but almost nothing has happened in regard to Water Street, Pillot said. It’s like putting a band aid on a broken arm, he added.

Nicholas encouraged support for the homeowners affected by Eighteenmile.

“We can’t let this go, we got to show them we can do it,” Nicholas said.

Homeowners surrounding Water Street were asking questions too Tuesday night. Elizabeth Holland, the only Water Street homeowner who is not being bought out, said for the third time she was publicly requesting soil sampling on her property.

“I’m stuck there. There’s going to be arson, vandalism, drug use. The neighborhood’s going to go to hell,” Holland said.

She also wanted to know the future for the street. Mannino said the plan is to clean up the properties enough so that they can be reused for new development.

James Stiles, one of the Water Street homeowners who would be relocated, said he and other residents should have medical tests, too.

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