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Northampton Borough Council members angered over proposed dam demolition

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 07 2014 12:21:41 AM CST
NORTHAMPTON, Pa. -

Members of the Northampton Borough Council reacted with outrage Thursday night to a state grant recently awarded by Gov. Tom Corbett that would demolish the Atlas Cement Dam.

A $422,900 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grant was officially awarded to Martins-Jacoby Watershed Association for the dam's demolition on January 22nd.

"The tragedy is this that today this is a wildlife sanctuary," said Councilman Edward Pany. "Populated by various species of birds, turtles, fish and it's been used by many a sportsman in the area."

Pany said the dam has historical significance to the borough.

"This is a sad day when part of the history of this town and heritage which named this town, we were named by Atlas Portland Cement company in 1909," Pany said in an angered and raised voice. "So part of that history and heritage will be gone forever...We got blindsided."

The council voted to send a letter to DEP voicing their displeasure with the grant, and, for lack of what they say was inclusion into the matter.

"The EPA needs to be reduced by at least three quarters or 90 percent," said Councilman Anthony Lopsonzski, Sr. in a forceful voice. "The EPA is a useless organization. They have gotten only stronger now because the useless Supreme Court has not reigned them in...It's a lack of respect for law. It's tyrannical rule."

Loponski Sr. then turned his anger toward the Martin-Jacoby Watershed Association.

"I'd like to know where they came from and who they are," Lopsonzski, Sr. continued. "...This stinks. I will be glad, and hope that if the press quotes me, I would say that 'those people are useless as people. They have the brains of maybe the mosquitos that occupy the dam.' That dam was built for a purpose... It is a historical remembrance. They want to destroy that."

Lopsonzski, Sr. then commented on a previous attempt by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to change the colors of the borough's street signs, which are distinctively orange and black.

"It's the same thing when the state came and said we have to change our street signs," he added. "To green or brown. Why? Because they want to destroy everyone's feeling of being their own....Individual identity doesn't fit with what that master race wants to do. It's not in their plan. How do you do that? You destroy the morale of the people."

Lopsonzski, Sr. continued his lengthy and angered statement.

"Now everyone is the same," he said. "I don't want to be the same as everybody else. I like being individual. I like being known as the black and orange street signs. I could give a whistle less about what those halfwits (the state) thinks. It's the same thing with the dam. But it's done by another group of halfwits. Interlopers."

He then offered this advice to the environmentalists associated with the project.

"You want to do something for nature? Stay in your house. Don't go outside. You'll help nature every day. But as soon as you go outside you get a wonderful idea and it turns to garbage."

Lopsonzski, Sr. added that he would defend the dam with his own body.

"I will be standing by that dam if they come to do it," he said.