NORTH COLLINS — “This is a person that went rogue.”
The person being described is North Collins Highway Superintendent David Winter.
Giving the description, Town Supervisor John Tobia.
“We just canʼt spend money without having a plan. Itʼs not David Winterʼs money to spend. Itʼs not my money to spend. Itʼs tax payers money,” says Tobia.
The dispute is over a bit of roadwork on Belcher Road. Near where the route ends at New Oregon Road, a lot of earth has been moved in an apparent attempt to straighten a downhill turn which can be problematic in winter.
Months ago, Winter approached the town board about the project. Before giving an okay, Tobia says board members asked Winter for a number of things; a title search, a budget for the job and a time line.
Tobia says Winter and his highway department started work on the project without supplying any of the requested documents.
What apparently stopped the project was the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Last week, the agency sent a notice of violation to Winter demanding work stop on the project or face fines of up to $37,500 per day.
The critical issue for the DEC is the possibility of rainwater run-off from the project reaching nearby Jones Creeks and Eighteen Mile Creek.
Sunday night, an emergency town board meeting was held. Tobia says Winter was warned about possible consequences if fines are leveed.
2 On Your Side visited the highway department garage and left a phone message at Winter’s office, but he has not responded.