Crowd becomes aggressive after Hoosick Falls settlement meeting adjourned

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – People were up in arms Thursday night after a meeting was unexpectedly cancelled in Hoosick Falls.

A meeting was to be held at the Hoosick Falls Armory on Thursday to discuss the revised settlement between the village, Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics and Honeywell.

But when board member Robert Ryan was unable to attend due to a family emergency, the meeting was cancelled because Mayor David Borge said he felt it was only right to discuss the deal with all board members present.

The crowd became aggressive and demanded the meeting still go on. People started shouting at the board members, and police had to step in.

The crowd then chanted “vote no” with reference to the settlement, which is just over $1 million. The deal started at $850,000 to cover village expenses, consulting fees, and creating a discretionary fund.

Under the deal, the village cannot sue either company in connection with three existing wells that have filtration systems, but any future problems are fair game.

“It’s really, really sad to be treated this way; it’s disappointing,” Michele Baker, of Hoosick Falls, said.

In January, the board voted to table the settlement after people spoke out against it saying the deal was too rushed. A letter was sent to Borge on Thursday that urged him not to accept the new deal because it would free the three companies from any future liabilities.

The agenda for Thursday’s meeting stated board members were going to vote on the revised settlement. There were no plans for public comment on the agenda.

“You know, they got to do it right,” Donald Smith, of Hoosick Falls, said. “You can’t push things. You can’t. It’s a bad situation. We went through hell. There was many nights I couldn’t even sleep at night because I was worried about it.”

The mayor left within seconds after the meeting was adjourned. But those in attendance felt strongly about the meeting being adjourned and felt they should’ve at least gotten the chance to speak about the settlement.

“Rip it up!” Baker exclaimed. “You have a room full of people here that have great ideas. Listen to the folks in Hoosick Falls, and get yourself a damn good agreement to fix the toxic polluters.”

The meeting was adjourned until 6 p.m. Monday at the Armory.

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