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Inland Wetlands Takes No Enforcement Action in Neighbor Dispute

A Fan Hill Road woman filed a complaint against State Rep. DebraLee Hovey and Paul Balsano, who also filed a complaint against her. Both will receive letters explaining that no actions will be taken by the town.

Lisa Gangnath filed an Inland Wetlands complaint over a pipe leading from State Rep. DebraLee Hovey and her husband Paul Balsano's pond to where she says her mother's Fan Hill Road property is. Balsano countered with a complaint accusing Gangnath of ripping up a three-foot area of grass along the edge of the pond, which he says de-stabilized the vegetative buffer.

The showdown before the Inland Wetlands Commission in the long simmering neighborhood dispute ended with no enforcement action from the town. On Wednesday night, the commission agreed to send formal letters to both sides explaining its decisions.

All commissioners who walked the properties agreed that the disturbed area around the pond was stable and that Gangnath would not have to re-plant the grass there.

When discussing the drainage pipe, Chairman Jeremy Hayden said, "I think it would cause more problems having that pipe removed."

Gangnath, who attended the meeting, stood in the center aisle with her arms folded and said, "You mean the pipe on my property?"

Hayden reminded her that there is no public comment when the commission is deliberating.

When it was clear that the commission would not take any enforcement action, Gangnath could be heard saying, "All right, I'll take care of this myself. This is a total waste of time."

Hovey was reached on Friday, but declined any comment until she received the letter from the Inland Wetland Commission.

M.L.L. December 07, 2012 at 07:57 PM
After following this story and the last regarding Hovey's disregard of town laws and practices it's unfortunate to hear that the commission would not take any enforcement action against Hovey and her husband. If this involved any other citizen of Monroe I'm sure the outcome would be much different.
Lisa Gangnath December 07, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Bill again... you got the story wrong and wished you had called me for a comment before you wrote this article .Please call me 362-7633 .One question though? Why have you or Brad not printed anything on the fact that State Rep DebraLee Hovey AGAIN has not gotten the proper permits for things that the town of Monroe Zoning Department requires you to get? Then she makes a statement in the Monroe Courier on November 6, saying that she is going to make it her goal to pass legislation to hold contactors as well as property owners accountable for following zonning permits . You and Brad have been at every Wetlands meeting hearing that the Hovey's again never got any permits. The Wetlands board even told the Hoveys to get permits now but you or Brad just felt that was not important enough to report on . I am sure zonning will be glad to help you. Everyone wonder why she keep getting elected ! Report It Please !
D. Sickles December 08, 2012 at 12:41 AM
The Planning & Zoning Chairman is a very strong supporter of DLH.
Cara J. Kramer December 08, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Yes, it looks pretty obvious that the town departments are afraid of doing anything to upset DLH or her hothead husband. Lisa, they will get theirs someday.
Arthur Nelson December 09, 2012 at 06:51 PM
This petty scandal mongering of people you don't politically agree with is ridiculous. Such behavior is potentially destructive to any committee's credibility. Wetlands regulations are meant to preserve and protect our nation's real and significant wetlands...not a few feet of grass around someone's decades old artificial pond by a house. As a member of Monroe's WPCA. I have seen other instances where Wetlands Commission members resort to anecdotes instead of data to support a personal prejudice. Every commission's goal should be to keep an open mind with measured decisions based on quantitative data. Unfortunately, our wetlands commission is somewhat ignorant about biology, chemistry & hydrology as it really functions in an ecosystem. In fact, I would hazard this is a problem with other volunteer committees across our state. Increasingly, these committees are deeply involved in quality of life issues that requires real expertise in hard sciences. Unfortunately some people on these committees seem to be ill prepared for their responsibilities...other than the ideology they bring with them to the job. Ideology without knowledge never serves the public well.

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