Next Hoosick Falls mayor to take on PFOA contamination issues

HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The village of Hoosick Falls will have a new mayor.

A music teacher in the district stepped up to the plate. He and a village trustee candidate both are running unopposed and ready to hit the ground running.

They admit there is lots of work to do.

First and foremost, that draft settlement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell that many feel takes advantage of the village.

People are optimistic about this change of hands.

“We’ve made great strides I think.”

Herb Loretan has lived in Hoosick Falls since 1973.

On Tuesday, he made his way to the polls, to vote for a new mayor, one who will take over negotiation talks between the village and companies responsible for contaminating their water.

“The present mayor I believe has done a good job. He’s had his trials and tribulations, and I think it’s time for him to hand it over to someone else to run with the ball,” Loretan said.

“Rob Allen, he’s excited and passionate and that’s a good thing,” Jim Martinez said.

Allen, a music teacher in the district, is running unopposed for mayor.  Brian Bushner, also unopposed, will fill the vacant trustee seat.

Together, they have advocated for this community with both voicing concerns about its health and well-being.

“We don’t know what it means to have this blood level of PFOA, and we need monitoring for that. We need studies. So there’s a lot to do,” Bushner said.

“What’s key for the settlement is that the village is protected,” Allen said.

At the center of the controversy has been the $1.04 million settlement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell.

Much of that money would go towards legal fees and a communications firm, drawing criticism from homeowners who are worried about investigations that aren’t yet complete.

“This has to be about making sure remediation is done the right and proper way, and hopefully getting us a new water source,” Allen said.

Both Allen and Bushner have vowed to make their village a place many generations will call home. That’s the dream for Loretan who once had four kids here.

“They’re all now happily married, I have eight grandchildren, and they’d love to come back to Hoosick Falls,” Loretan said.

Allen says he needs to first learn everything he can about the settlement, what was included or left out in negotiation talks.

He and Bushner are expected to be sworn in on April 3.

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