Jonathan GordonJul 13, 2018, 8:46 pm

Battle between Mount Vernon Mayor and City Council over sewage cleanup continues

Both sides are lobbing accusations at each other as the impasse continues


MOUNT VERNON - Mayor Richard Thomas has said that he called for two special council meetings this week to address a lawsuit by the Department of Justice over the city allegedly dumping raw sewage into the Hutchinson and Bronx Rivers since 2012. However, the council says that he did so improperly, with the city clerk says the meeting letters from Thomas were missing signatures and did not give the council enough notice to pick a time to meet.

"If their excuse is that they didn't get a proper invitation then they really need to rethink their occupation," Thomas said.

"We have sent letters out to the Mayor," said acting Council President Andre Wallace. "He was supposed to come last Friday, he was supposed to come with the lawyers on Monday, he keeps canceling."

According to Thomas, in order to comply with the DOJ, the city must inspect 600,000 linear feet of sewers and drains and that, before work can begin, the city must hire an engineer, DPW crew, planning commissioner and two grant writers totaling $1.8M.

"We have supplied him with the equipment, the cameras, the additional members and men, the workforce, and still the Mayor has not done anything," said Wallace.

However, the city council says they are going ahead with hiring an engineer to get the project done with or without the Mayor.

"The council has moved forward with our own attorney, our own engineers, and we will dot his properly and we will get it done," Wallace said.

The city will be in court in two weeks on July 23.

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