In my last email, I explained the cost overruns and other interesting facts about the West Vincent Community Garden. I now continue to reveal more information.

Community Garden point man Bill Dietrich is insistent that the taxpayers underwrite public water installation for the Community Garden. This is Public water paid for by the taxpayers, not the gardeners. That's right, there is a water bill that comes in just like it does to any house that has public water. Mr. Dietrich stated that this hydrant would also be used by the residents in case of emergency. An emergency spigot has no need to be located there. It could be installed some place closer to the completed water infrastructure for very little money, if it is really needed.

It was suggested by Park and Rec member Bill Holderness that the building of several hand pump shallow wells be explored. He had a discussion with a hydro geologist that suggested such a thing could be done for around $1000. Then there would be no water bill and it would be truly a sustainable watering solution. Bill Dietrich was firmly against it, stating he did not want “non-potable” water on his vegetable plants. It was pointed out that virtually all vegetables are grown with non-potable water. Rain is non-potable. Water from a hose is non-potable. Water from irrigation systems is non-potable. Mr. Dietrich was unwavering, even after it was pointed out that his public water source is CHLORINATED, which will kill the very microbes that help make the soil good for growing plants. http://www.veggiegardener.com/watering-vegetable-garden-city-water/

Along with other projects in the Community Garden Mr. Dietrich wants you to pay for, I would wager that by the time this Community Garden is completed the cost will be close to $50,000, 5 times the original estimated amount. Even if the spending stopped tomorrow, between water usage and regular maintenance that needs to be done around the facility, the Community Garden is on track to never cover it's annual expenses, let alone the investment. This means that the taxpayers get to fund their neighbors food. I'm not saying that the Community Garden isn't a nice idea and perhaps some good camaraderie among green thumbs, but wouldn't it be nice if the version of “sustainability” was truly self sustaining? Currently it would be cheaper for everyone in the township to just buy every plot owner vegetables every year.

Join the Community Garden, spend $35 a year, get some dirt under your fingernails, sun on your back and fresh air. There are a total of 50 plots (so 25 are still available) and that would bring in $1750 a year that would, without a water bill, be somewhat sustainable. Prove to the Township that there is a desire for a project like this. But hand pump the water (when necessary) so that your neighbor doesn't have to finance your hobby.

Best Wishes


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