The fact that the Republican-controlled Middletown Committee covered up contamination beneath Town Hall and the Middletown Cultural Center, respectively, is not in dispute.
Beneath the Town Hall engineers say there is a vein of diesel oil that continues to migrate, Grenafege said. He noted that the Middletown Committee is trying to tell residents that oil moves up hill from an old Exxon station and not down hill from Town Hall. “That’s nonsense,” Grenafege said.
Walsh said there is also contamination at the Middletown Cultural Arts Center, formerly known as the Banfield Building, which existed prior to ownership or construction. “And yet nothing was done to inform the residents or remediate the problem. How much is this mistake going to cost our taxpayers?” she said.
The candidates said the state has determined a decade ago that both contaminated sites have to be remediated, and yet nothing has been done. “This could cost millions,” Walsh said.
Grenafege said these contamination issues are emblematic of the contamination that has existed on the governing body for the past quarter-century.
Walsh said that, in view of the administration’s view of conservation, addressing contamination should have been Job No. 1. “But the Republican-controlled Township Committee’s commitment to conservation is for public consumption, not an actual commitment,” Walsh said.
The candidates agreed that there has been a conscious cover up of the facts surrounding the contamination of these two public areas. “There is no other way to explain the total absence of information about these very important issues,” Grenafege said.
The candidates agreed that the governing body has to address this issue. “As members of the Middletown Committee, Jim Grenafege and I will join with committeemen Patrick Short and Sean Byrnes and not only disclose the facts about this cover-up but address this situation in a public way,” Walsh concluded.