Lynch missed the bloat

In response to William Lynch's letter [July 7: "We did not dump"] concerning his visit to the Gardner property, he visited the site a few months too late.

The "cleanup" of the Gardner property has been ongoing since the trash caught fire on January 4. Given our local government's involvement in the "cleanup," I'm as incredulous as Lynch that some hazardous items have actually been removed. Until now, the County of Albemarle made little effort to enforce zoning violations in the 30-year period preceding this fire.

Now, however, items have been removed, and they include the pallets of asbestos shingles which were "overwrapped" under DEQ supervision. I wish I could tell Lynch where the rooftop cooling units went, but my FOIA request resulted only in a week's worth of "disposal receipts," and they did not include the cooling units. They did include scrap metal, tires, and oxygen canisters.

If the roofing debris has been removed, that does not mean it was never there. I have no reason to doubt local residents' accounts of Lynch roofing trucks entering the property. Moreover, in the County's own records, I find information that supports these claims.

The zoning/DEQ violations and "cleanup" at the Gardner property are complicated issues. I urge Lynch, and anyone else, to avail themselves of the County's 30-year file on this site. Is this light reading– the sort of thing you take to the beach? No, but if you take the time, it's well worth the effort.

The Hook's article was thoroughly researched and well-documented journalism. Lynch is mistaken if he thinks the reporter relied on hyperbole or conjecture. The cold, hard facts from the County's own records speak for themselves.

I am confident that anyone reading the file will come to the same conclusion: this case reveals 30 years of ineptitude and benign neglect on the part of our elected and paid County officials. In two words: very sad.

Ann Fox