The CIA recently disclosed that area 51 exists. It had been a long kept state secret. People had asked about the place and what went on there for years. I’ve been asking CBJ officials for years about what I’ve decided isn’t a state secret but must be at least a municipal secret. Maybe the new transparency practiced by the CIA could encourage our CBJ officials to reveal a secret or two that I’ve been trying to crack for years. Can anyone tell me why the city has extended municipal water, sewage and fire hydrant services to every community in the borough within the past 25 years or so, but denied these basic services to the community of Thane? We pay the same property tax rate as everyone else. My land assessment more than doubled this year. It’s not like we’re not contributing to the city coffer. Yesterday I asked a city official this question. I’ve asked lots of city officials this question. I got the usual shrug.
Either there is a conspiracy to keep a secret or we are talking ‘dumb and dumber.’
A few of the residents of Thane have adequate wells. Not many. Some wells either yield brackish salt infused water or go dry after a toilet flush or two or both. Some residents catch water off their roof and store an inadequate supply in a tank that goes dry when it’s too cold for snow to melt or we have a dry spell. They have to haul water in from town to flush and shower. Some of us have pipes to streams that freeze up in the winter so filling a tank in the Fall is the alternative to a winter without water. You better have a very big tank to hold you for four or five months.
25 years ago when the Valley residents were still using wells and most of their water was red with rust, drinking out of a pure stream in Thane didn’t seem so bad even if the water ran short in winter. But, come on, it isn’t the mid-1980’s anymore. There are municipal water services miles out the road. There are fire hydrants out the road where there are no houses. In Thane if there is a fire we get a tanker truck that goes dry in a couple of minutes. The dry tanker can now fill up at a fire plug connected to Sheep Creek instead of running back to town. Great. Only takes about an hour to be back on the job just in time to put out the cinders. If there were fire plugs in easy reach the fire department could do its job. Don’t ask me what my home insurance company thinks of this this jury-rigged system that has allowed two Thane homes to burn to the ground in the past 25 years.
So, am I living in CBJ’s answer to area 51 where secrets abound? What’s the deal? How come someone at 25 mile can flush with the municipal water supply and I have to wait to the end of December to flush so my tank doesn’t run dry. How come when the city’s water pipes end at the rock dump just four miles from Thane am I drinking out of the creek?
• James Kohn has been a resident of Thane for more than 25 years.