Alex Bay settles 2004 suit over Carnegie Bay Road salt contamination

Alex Bay settles 2004 suit over Carnegie Bay Road salt contamination

Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY), February 16, 2012
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An eight-year lawsuit against the village over salt contamination has finally come to an end with a Carnegie Bay Road resident receiving a $30,000 settlement.

Village attorney Mark G. Gebo said several residents filed claims over salt contamination on that road in 2004 but only Owen W.F. Burns III followed through.

“In 2004 Mr. Burns, who owns property on Carnegie Bay Road, filed a suit claiming salt contamination. The suit has obviously been dragging on since 2004 and we were finally able to make an arrangement for settlement,” Mr. Gebo said. The money will come from the village’s general fund because it was not a budgeted item.

Mr. Burns, a seasonal resident, claimed in 2004 that runoff from snow and rain carried salt from a village Department of Public Works storage pile onto his 46623 Carnegie Bay Road property over several years, contaminating the surrounding soil.

He eventually sued the village in state Supreme Court that year for negligence, creating a nuisance and trespass, and sought compensation for damage done to the soil, water supplies, trees, bushes, shrubbery and property.

But the village fought back, arguing that Carnegie Bay Road residents were to blame for not allowing it to build in 1997 a salt storage facility that could have stopped runoff.

Mr. Gebo initially asked for an outright dismissal of the case and for Mr. Burns to cover the village’s legal costs.

While the lawsuit lingered, the village has acted to address the contamination.

The salt pile was moved in late 2003 to a state Department of Transportation facility in Collins Landing in the town of Orleans.

The village also installed a municipal water line along Carnegie Bay Road in 2004 to alleviate problems with contaminated wells.

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