To the Editor:

Southburians should be furious at being kept in the dark about environmental contamination at the Edgewood Bath and Tennis Club. As a result of a Freedom of Information request by Selectperson candidate Kim McNeil, we now know that two reports were commissioned to evaluate the petroleum pollution on site.

Both the soil and groundwater contamination concentrations exceed the state’s clean-up criteria.

My concerns:

Lack of Transparency: The reports are dated August 2020 and April 2021. They are now available on Why has Jeff Manville not shared this information?

Failure to Do Due Diligence: An ad-hoc committee to evaluate Edgewood was created in February 2020. A referendum was scheduled, but apparently this was done before conducting the proper environmental due diligence; the contamination was never brought up in any public information meeting.

Lack of Local Knowledge: Despite living in Southbury all his life (something Mr. Manville touts), why was he not aware that the site was a school bus depot? There were attempts at environmental remediation decades ago (although we now know not complete).

For many Southburians, the idea of abandoning the town pool at Ballantine Park was never a good idea, even if it cost more than purchasing Edgewood.

However, now we see that this purchase could have been much more expensive. It is reminiscent of what happened with the bungled deal to acquire the Public Service Area for ambulance service. As you may recall, Rep. O’Neill had to pull back Mr. Manville’s application because it was misleading.

We need a first selectman who will provide transparency, collaborate effectively with all organizations, and do proper due diligence. Southbury deserves better deal. That is why I am supporting John Diehl.

Ed Edelson


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