The Saugerties Village Board discussed a problem of property sinking during its regular meeting on August 1. The problem had come up at a previous meeting, and the board has been looking for solutions.
At the July meeting of the Village Board, Rod Martin and Ann Andola told the board that the ground is sinking on his Main Street property. Martin said he has discussed the problem with Mayor William Murphy, DPW Superintendent Richard Forbes and Water Superintendent Mike Hopf. Water and sewer lines that run through the property to Willow Lane appear to be contributing to the problem, Martin said. Manholes and sewer lines run through easements on the property, one of which is abandoned.
Andola said the property has been sinking for years, causing a corner of her garage to sink.
At the August 1 meeting, board members discussed several possible causes for the problem and possible solutions. The solution would depend on which of the possible causes was the actual cause of the problem.
Mayor Bill Murphy said the problem is actually an abandoned sewer line that is subsiding. The solution would be to fill it in, he suggested.
Trustee Terry Parisian disagreed. After looking at the problem, “my understanding is that it’s an old cistern. It absorbs the ground water and keeps the ground dry. It’s not a sewer line that goes the entire way through our right of way.” Parisian’s grandfather had a book that shows all the plumbing under the village, and there is no reference to a sewer line in that area, he added. “If it is actually a cistern on Andola’s property, then it is not a village issue,” he said.
Trustee Vincent Buono said he is concerned that solving the flooding in the area by filling in the line could create a problem somewhere else. Parisian agreed that “if it is a cistern and we fill it in, there’s no place for that water to go.”
The board decided to get more information about the possibility that the land subsidence is due to a cistern before going further.