James Caggiano, former Village of Goshen water engineer (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)
The Stop Legoland crowd is still going strong this week (Photo by Frances Ruth Harris)
By Frances Ruth Harris
GOSHEN — The resistance against Legoland New York coming to Goshen continues, even as a court ruling knocked down as "premature" a legal effort to stop it.
"Legoland is the author of alternative facts," said attorney Michael Sussman, addressing a group assembled at the Goshen Senior Center on Jan. 30. He sued Merlin and the town on behalf of Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley (see related story).
The opponents say Legoland will destroy their fragile water system — and that once the water is gone, the town will follow.
“People in our town and village are not telling us the truth about the water problems in Goshen," said long-time resident Kit Wallace.
James Caggiano, a former Village of Goshen water engineer, said new wells were possible but only one well could be drawn from at a time. Water would not be available from numerous wells at the same time because the aquifer couldn't support more than one draw down at a time.
Tom Fay, who lives on Reservoir Road, said, “elected officials have been untruthful but they are openly partial in favor of Legoland when they should be neutral. That goes particularly for the planning board. They have to be neutral. Legoland has to make its own case. That is not the job of the planning board.”
Brad Barnhorst, president of the Concerned Citizens for the Hudson Valley, said he's willing to pay to keep Legoland out. He says the payment in lieu of taxes Legoland is offering amounts to giving Goshen money to destroy its land and the water.
Christine Miele talked about her trip with Debra Corr to Legoland in Winter Haven, Fla., with its 48 square miles of parking lots bigger than the park facility itself.
Dr. Robert Wolfson worried about increased traffic degrading air quality.
"If you have asthma now, it will get worse," he said. "Whatever you have, the presence of Legoland's traffic with thousands of people will upgrade your disease to the next level."
Later, Wallace told The Chronicle, “I remember as a young girl my parents talked about water being a problem in Goshen. There has always been a water problem in Goshen, even when there’s not a drought. There is not enough water here, and the town and village keep allowing businesses to come in.
"They are whistling past the cemetery. They do not care. They live in the moment.”