The following letter was sent to me and Tittabawassee River Watch by a young local physician. The economic issues surrounding this extensive contamination by Dow Chemical impact everyone. Last I heard the house was still for sale but at reduced cost. Meanwhile Dow continues to downplay the toxicity of dioxin in mailers, newspapers and public gatherings and there is no one countering their misinformation campaign which dominates this issue.
Michelle Hurd Riddick
Lone Tree Council
Dear Tittabawassee River Watch,
I am writing this letter as a concerned and upset citizen of the Saginaw area. I’m a physician at Covenant Health Care, and have lived in Saginaw for 3 years now.
I recently purchased a home here in Thomas Township. While looking for the right place over a 2 year search period, I ALMOST purchased a beautiful home with 6 acres located on the west bank of the Tittabawassee River, north of State Street on River Road. It was truly the home of my dreams, a luxurious place with 6 garages, a water view, and such a great location close to town.
My realtor, a local agent now with CMW, who I’d worked with for 2 years trying to find the ‘right place’, was uninformed of the dioxin issue and downplayed its significance when the issue came up. The seller’s disclosure on that house was marked ‘unknown’ regarding chemicals on the land, and fortunately this raised my eyebrow prior to making my offer. “Unknown chemicals on the land?” I asked myself. “What is that about?” With only a little research, I learned how contaminated Immerman Park is, located just across the river from the house. Only 2 weeks after I decided NOT to purchase the property, high dioxin levels were found on property further inland (on the WEST side of river road), further verifying how contaminated those 6 acres MUST be.
I’m certainly glad that I didn’t become the owner of that land. When I drive by there and see it STILL for sale a year later, I feel bad for the owners whose land has been so dangerously contaminated, and whom no one in their right mind will purchase now. This past spring, the water was up to the backdoor of that house, the backyard like a big septic swimming pool.
Quite honestly, I have even started to question whether living in Thomas Township at all is a good idea. My current house is about a mile from the river off Gratiot, and I wonder about the safety of my own soil even here. I think when it’s time to have children, I’ll move someplace else and not risk their safety.
Thanks for listening to my story. I hope this problem can someday be solved.
Timothy H. Kaufman, MD