It is with deep regret that I must report that the north wall of Teaberry Port has buckled recently and we now have a giant hole in that side of the building. To my mind there should be a few issues that need to be addressed soon:
1. There is now a derelict building at 327 Strawtown Road that is being neglected by its owner. True, the Town did return the property to United Water. Nevertheless, the Town of Clarkstown, contrary to some official statements, does in fact, still have an interest in the condition of this structure.
For example, recently, United Water, at the insistence of various residents living in proximity to the property, and prompted by the Clarkstown Code Enforcer was required to secure the building, repair the broken windows and clean up the yard. After complying, United Water responded to the complaint by erecting a chain link fence around the structure.
2. Question: If I, as a resident of Clarkstown, were cited for abandoning my property and allowing the structure to fall into disrepair, would it be sufficient for me to simply surround the building with a fence and allow the building to crumble and the grounds to go to brush ? Could not the Town remediate this unsightly condition and send the bill to me, the owner of record?
3. This stretch of Strawtown Road is an historic district with its Clarksville Inn, Fire Gong Ring and Mill Site at Germonds Road intersection, and of course, Teaberry Port. The New York Times Real Estate section some years back, described this area as one of the most desirable in the region. The condition of Teaberry Port with its fence that looks like something you might find in a run down neighborhood, diminishes the value of all properties in this area.
4 Frequently we are told that United Water is a regulated utility and this fact complicates the issue. I am sure that it does. Question: Just how does it matter? Does the company make political contributions to candidates of their choice and otherwise spend shareholder's money to pursue it best interests?
Would it not be in United Water's best interest to generate a little good will when it comes to preserving our heritage? Did not the original founding statements of Spring Valley Water Co. claim that they would work toward the betterment of the community in which it operates?
How was it that Spring Valley Water Co. was able in the '70's to parcel off a piece of its condemned watershed holdings and sell it to an entity it created called Spring Valley Realty who then developed the parcel? Why can we not do the same with Teaberry Port?
Many thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read this.
Editor's Note: Photos added October 13, 2012