Motor racing’s senior statesman, 92-year-old John Fitch, is being threatened with the loss of his home near Lime Rock where he has lived for more than 50 years. The house was built before the Revolution of 1776. The state now claims, however, that a pair of 1,000-gallon underground heating oil tanks on his property are leaking and releasing pollutants into the surrounding soil and the local water table.
Ironically, it was Fitch himself who originally discovered and reported the leakage on his property, which has been designated by the State of Connecticut as a historic site. John simply cannot afford the costs to correct the situation, which may run to more than half a million dollars. True to his nature, however, Fitch has begun work on creating a system of convection and evaporation for cleaning such soil that would be an improvement on current methods.
As this situation seems to be dragging on with no resolution in sight, perhaps a campaign of public pressure from the racing community might be able to persuade the appropriate officials to grant Fitch some form of grandfathered variance that would expire when the property next changes hands. In this age of environmental awareness and activism, might it still be possible to find a humanistic solution to this very real problem?
John is a decorated veteran of WWII who has been honored by the state on many occasions, including this April 21, which was declared as John Fitch Day. All this veneration doesn’t mesh, however, with the present attempts to harass him and conceivably drive him from his home of half a century, so we would encourage everyone to write a letter to the governor and the state legislators listed below so that John may continue to live in his home in peace.
M. Jodi Rell, Governor
State of Connecticut
210 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106
Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney
House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan
House Majority Leader Denise W. Merrill
House Minority Leader Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. Lawrence.Cafero@housegop.ct.gov
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06101-1591