Guest Columns

Somers Sewer Vote is Shrouded in Deceit and Unanswered

We are part of The Trust Project

By Linda Luciano

The Somers Town Board hasn’t been open and honest with residents for 14 months regarding the proposed Somers Sewer District #2.

They never notified us by mail; it’s the only way to fairly ensure that residents are properly notified.

They approved a flawed map, plan and report last year, and residents caught many errors.

They never put it up for a public vote; the opponents had to petition for it.

A Town Board member worked with proponents behind our backs and created a website, calling it an “Official Town of Somers Website” to make it look legitimate.

They didn’t have discussions with us, the taxpayers, on alternatives. 

They didn’t advertise public hearings or run them on Channel 20 as they are supposed to.

The wording in the revised report leaves too many questions unanswered.

I’ve looked at other towns that have openly told the residents their costs, what type of system they will need, if they need a grinder pump and that hook-ups were optional. Everything was transparent, unlike Somers. We fear many things about this project. 

We just learned that Lake Lincolndale Property Owners Association (LLPOA) Chairman of the Board Michael O’Keefe, who has repeatedly spoken in favor of this sewer project, never mentioned that the LLPOA clubhouse isn’t included in this sewer district. How can this be when all other 989 residents, Shenorock Community Center, businesses and synagogue are all included? 

The clubhouse has two kitchens and two bathrooms and is located right on the lake.

Town Board members have said they haven’t been underhanded with this project, but knowing this new information and the fact that Lincoln Hall is selling 100 acres for development (which can be rezoned using our sewer system), makes everyone very suspicious.

The Town Board proposed that this sewer district only include R-10 lots. There are R-10 and R-40 lots right on Shenorock Lake that aren’t being included, as well as Horton Estates, Route 118 and Lake Road, which are much closer to the reservoir. Why, if it’s about water quality? If our water was so contaminated, why didn’t Gov. Cuomo in 2017 give some of the $75 million from the State Septic System Replacement Fund to improve Westchester’s water quality?  

The Town Board uses the scare tactic that we’ll lose the $10 million from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, but we’ve had the money for 21 years. The engineers say that the district has to be formed in order to receive funding. Lies! They have $10 million, they secured another $1.3 million from the federal Water Resources Development Act, and they even received $847,000 in 2016 from the state or a stormwater improvement project at Lake Shenorock – all without a district.

New York State is broke due to COVID-19 and it’s unlikely we’ll ever get millions in future funding. As it is now, our projected yearly fee is $1,187, which is based on the town borrowing $16,197,000. However, the town can borrow more than this, so residents must understand our flat fee could be more than $2,700 a year.

The Town Board told residents that the county buy-in and operation and maintenance fees are going to start at the time of our hook-up. It states very clearly on page 4-3 that it starts “at the time of construction.” This is another example of their deceit that we have been fighting this past year.

The Town Board is including the hook-ups fees in our overall debt cost. On the comptroller’s website it clearly states that hook-up fees are not to be included in the overall debt. If the district goes through, we may find out later that we have to pay for our own hookup.

Innovative advanced septic systems are being installed in Westchester County, and one was just installed in Shenorock. The waste from your house goes into this system and it comes out clean and clear. It keeps you independent from paying fees and taxes forever. Visit www.Westchestergov.ny (Sec.873.740 Enhanced treatment units). Why not treat your sewage in your own yards – instead of sending it 13 miles to get dumped in the Hudson River at Peekskill.

Somers has been a town of constant development the past five years. Our biggest concern is the lack of honesty from our Town Board. There are way too many unanswered questions, and we fear expensive eleventh-hour surprises long into our future.

Please vote no on Nov. 10 to unanswered questions, higher taxes and more development. Visit for more information.

Linda Luciano is a Shenorock-Lake Lincolndale Sewer Committee for Truth and Honesty member.

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