Roney’s Rant: Insult to Injury!
Posted by: Al Roney
Published on: December 3rd, 2012 at 9:00 AM
Talk about kicking a man when he’s down.
A local man, whose house caught fire last week and was destroyed, is being subjected to even more indignity and pain; a neighboring town is socking him with the bill for water used to fight the fire!
Mike Petrio, who lives in Brunswick, is being charged by the town of Poestenkill after firefighters used water from one of its hydrants to help fill temporary “ponds”, or large troughs of water set up to assist in knocking down the blaze.
The bill for the water used is 1400 bucks! 1400 from a guy who just lost his home and possessions!
Poestenkill officials barely waited for the embers to cool before they sent the bill to him, Petrio’s mailbox being one the only things left standing.
Merry Freakin’ Christmas.
I can only imagine this guys reaction, not only suffering the loss of his domicile, but being thrust into a bureaucratic black comedy, like Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil”.
They want me to pay for the water used to help put out the fire?
There’s a reason for the billing, one that in my opinion doesn’t hold any water at all.
See Poestenkill buys its water from Brunswick and Troy, and Town Supervisor Dom Jacangelo seems to think it’s only fair they try to recoup the money “lost” in gallons of water to help the town’s tax-payers.
Wrong target Mr. J! Major misfire.
Charging this guy for the water used is beyond ludicrous, especially since he has ZERO control over what hydrant, or what water source, is being is used. Even if he did, it’s still nuts.
So sorry your house was destroyed, here’s the bill for the water.
So what if one town “owes” another for water, this is different. IT’S A FIRE!!! It’s not a guy getting his pool filled, watering the lawn, or involved in a marathon session of “slip and slide”.
When there’s an EMERGENCY, towns help out other towns. It’s called mutual aide. Maybe the next time Poestenkill needs an assist surrounding communities should just let the phone ring.
Is that Poestenkill? Don’t answer! They’re probably calling collect anyway.
Maybe Poestenkill is just riffing off an idea proposed in New York City a while ago, charging people involved in car crashes a fee if fire-fighters have to respond to the scene.
That’s right, even if the crash wasn’t your fault, you pay for that first responder to set you free from the twisted metal. At least while you’re busy fighting for your life, you can start thinking about how you’re going to pay for the rescue.
Sort of takes the shine right out of the “Hero” label for firefighters doesn’t it? And this, in a city with some of the highest taxes in the country!
What’s next, checking wallets and bank statements, before CPR is administered?
If we’re going to get zapped with a bill for water usage at a fire, or for rescue services, we should demand a new system.
Here’s my idea. Every year you go without the need for any fire, police, or EMS assistance, you get a rebate check or, at the very least, your taxes are reduced!
After all, you’re not costing fellow tax-payers a single dime, so why should you have to keep paying more?
Sort of like a safe-driver discount program.
Something has to be done to put a halt to this sort of nonsense.
Al Roney has lived in the Capital Region most of his life. He has a wife, 2 kids, a dog, a cat, and a couple of parakeets. He’s heard firefighters are holding a fund-raiser for Mr. Petrio. Poestenkill’s Town Super should show up and rip up that water bill. That, along with a heartfelt apology, would help.