TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Rensselaer County Legislature unanimously passed a resolution on Tuesday urging Troy leaders to thaw and fix any frozen pipes and to pay the bills for those who had to do it themselves.
Some Lansingburgh residents went days without water due to frozen pipes. And despite admitting it was a city line, Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia said the city was not liable to fix those pipes. Some residents had their pipes thawed at the expense of complete strangers, but others still remain without water.
Now county leaders said the problem needs to be fixed and prevented.
“Since the mayor wasn’t affected, I guess it’s not an emergency to him,” Rensselaer County Chairman Martin Reid said. “It is to the people who have no water.”
Reid said Rosamilia should have taken immediate action to help residents with frozen pipes.
“I think it’s obviously a bad situation that became ridiculous,” Reid said.
Reid said the county took up the issue after residents came to the county seeking housing.
“The city should have stepped forward, taken care of this, and we shouldn’t have been involved at all,” he said.
Last week, Troy’s city council passed a resolution urging the mayor to act. But because the city didn’t give a 24 hour notice, the city clerk’s office said the vote was illegal and no resolution went to the mayor’s desk. Troy City Councilman Jim Gordon said that shouldn’t matter.
“Ultimately, this isn’t about a piece of paper or a piece of legislation,” he said. “This is about people who don’t have water.”
The county’s resolution passed 17-0. It urges Troy to thaw any frozen pipes and reimburse residents who had to hire private help.
“You have people who need water, and their furnaces need water,” Reid said. “We don’t want blocks setting on fire.”
Reid said those reasons make the issue a public safety issue and said it demands emergency attention.
“All municipalities have emergency purchasing powers, and that’s all they need to do is have the city engineer declare an emergency and they can hire people to come out right away,” he explained.
But Rosamilia said, legally, he still can’t act.
“I have to separate my own personal feelings from the events, the direction the city has to take,” he said. “Based on the legal information that was provided to me.”
Rosamilia said the city plans to work with the city council to revise the laws in the future.
“The city will be discussing how a similar situation doesn’t occur again in the future,” he said.
But that’s still not fast enough for Gordon.
“The city administration acknowledges that this is city infrastructure, and now we can acknowledge that there is other ways to thaw out these pipes, get the job done,” he said.
Reid said he hopes the city takes immediate action and doesn’t wait another day. The resolution is non-binding meaning the mayor’s administration doesn’t have to act.