My shorts are in an ever tightening knot about Pine Lake. Sure, Pine Lake is not an essential part of Hudson, despite once being the now removed iconic picture on our Town’s website. But what does Pine Lake say about us, and are we listening?
I’ll write a few brief paragraphs each on one point of why I’m bothered. I could go on for pages and pages, but this is my quick top of the head morning coffee list. I’ll write them in no particular order of importance so that those who wish to comment can refer to a point they wish to discuss. Feel free to add your points of bother to the discussion, or just rank them from your personal highest to lowest importance.
#1) Pine Lake is a depressing eyesore that a significant part of Hudson drives by each day. Many of us start and end our day passing this reminder that Hudson is somehow so broken that we can’t fix Pine Lake.
#2) Pine Lake had value to far more than the few property owners around it. In the past, I have made early morning panic stops to move dinner plate sized turtles across the road so they wouldn’t get hit, I smiled when the beautiful herons were there on my way home from work and we took our grandchildren there on village walks to see and feed the ducks. Many people fished Pine Lake, many stopped and sat and Pine Lake was a great first impression of Hudson year round. Now it’s an eyesore.
#3) Hudson acquired Pine Lake from private owners and committed in writing to maintain it for the town use. We have failed to honour that legal document in a timely fashion and have no current plan to end this situation. What is exactly is the word of Hudson worth when residents and friends are driven to legal action against their own town trying to force us to honour our own past commitments?
#4) I believe that we have somehow made the restoration of Pine Lake a much bigger, more complex and more expensive deal than it really is. I know the government can get complex, but repairing a damn dam that’s been there for 50+ years should not be such a big deal. We need a will to find a simple good solution. If we manage to complicate every problem like we seem to have complicated Pine Lake then it’s no wonder we don’t get anything fixed.
#5) Pine Lake and the discussions surround the required repairs divide Hudson into smaller groups exactly where we should be coming together. I’ve seen comments that support the repair if we can do it for $25K, which is totally unrealistic, others that practically demand that we repave every road in town before we get to repairing Pine Lake. Has it become a case that I won’t support your top project until my top project is funded? We have a town, but sadly we just don’t seem to have the community we once had.
#6) Pine Lake is just the visible tip of the horrible infrastructure deficit iceberg we’ve allowed and Hudson is the Titanic bearing down with a broken rudder and out of fuel. We know that there’s much to be done, yet year after year we see not enough getting done. So the lingering image of a mud flat mess instead of a pretty lake is confirmation that we are really too broke to fix things that matter, especially things that we said we’d maintain.
So, if you want to know what’s really wrong with Hudson, stop and stare for a while at the muck that was Pine Lake. Hudson is really just stuck in the muck.