WESTERNPORT - Every available seat was taken in the Westernport Town Hall Monday night, with a number of local citizens there to share concerns about various issues.

By Jean Braithwaite
Tribune Correspondent
WESTERNPORT - Every available seat was taken in the Westernport Town Hall Monday night, with a number of local citizens there to share concerns about various issues.
Conducting her first meeting since being appointed as mayor in July, Laura Legge and the council members were flooded with questions about water quality and the lack of law enforcement to deal with the drug traffic in specific areas of the community.
Resident Jeannie Pritts told of a problem with her cold water, and when that spigot is turned on, “The water is warm long enough to take a shower.”
Judy Hamilton, water commissioner, told Pritts that she would find out what is creating this problem with her water service.
Hamilton, who previously served as police commissioner, was appointed at the beginning of the council meeting as water commissioner, replacing Legge, the former water commissioner.
An additional concern from Pritts centered on the possibility of allowing the community of Luke to have water access from the Westernport water tank.
“We need to negotiate on this subject,” Pritts said, adding an item that should be discussed as who will be responsible for the maintenance process on this project.
Allan Shapiro, Westernport’s finance director, said that he felt the town should be a good neighbor, however, “Our job is to represent the town of Westernport, not the town of Luke or the town of Piedmont.”
Local resident John Lepley brought a water filter installed recently in his house and used for only one gallon of water, allowing the council members to examine the filter that contained a white substance.
He said that recently he had returned to his home from a vacation to find his ice maker, water pump, and the whole water system was full of mud.
“It was like I had chocolate running through my house,” Lepley said, as he continued, “I am retired and can’t keep on paying for these expensive replacements.”
From the back of the room, a citizen asked Shapiro, “Do you drink the water?”
Shapiro answered that he does drink the water, and the person asking the question said, “We can’t.”
Other water concerns surfaced among residents, while Shapiro explained that funding for water projects is difficult to obtain.
He said that previously, water projects were funded with 87.5 percent of grants and 12.5 percent from the community, but now the percentage is equal to a 50/50 split, costing much more for Westernport.
Shapiro said that he has talked to elected officials to try to get back to original percentage for water projects.
Another concern was brought to the floor by D. Price of Vine Street who spoke about the four wheelers and lawn mowers moving around his neighborhood, running into parked vehicles and causing damage.
Mayor Legge said that at the present, there is no ordinance concerning four-wheelers being on the streets of the community, while Shapiro mentioned that at the September council meeting the town’s lawyer, Mike Llewellyn, will have a first reading of an ordinance dealing with go-carts, four wheelers, and lawn mowers on community roads,
Price also asked the council members to place a gate across an alley near his home “to stop the drug traffic, vandalism, and using the alley as a public bathroom.”