Niagara Falls residents speak out at council meeting

Dozens of people are still without water due to frozen pipes

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Niagara Falls residents like Sylvia Francis are angry. Francis is one of around 60 residents who still doesn’t have water. For the past eight weeks, she’s been sponge bathing and borrowing water from a nearby fire station.

“Go one day without water, see how it feels,” she said before the  Niagara Falls City Council Monday night.

Francis, along with several other residents at the meeting to discuss water concerns, was looking for some type of solution.

“It’s like I’m being totally ignored. Nobody wants to listen. Everybody wants to push it off on somebody else,” she Told News 4.

During the bitterly cold winter many pipes around the city froze, cutting off water supply to dozens of people. Francis believes this is the fault of the city, because the pipes were not laid deep enough into the ground.

But the City Council says it’s the Water Board’s responsibility to address frozen pipe matters.

“If it was up to us, tomorrow, we’d get everyone water. But this where citizens are misunderstood. We do not run day to day operations,” responded City Councilman Glenn Cholookian, when Francis asked him why the issue remains unsolved.

Mayor Paul Dyster says the city is working with a private company to study the construction of 72nd street, an area with the most frozen pipe issues, in hopes of finding answers.

“Although the study is still in draft I think it’s safe for me to say that we’re moving towards a conclusion that yes there is some sort of systematic problem there,” he told News 4.

But there’s no solution yet, and Francis says until her faucet is running again, she’s not going anywhere.

“They’re not gonna get rid of me. I’m a thorn in their side until they fix the problem,” she said.

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