As person after person spoke, it became obvious that the normally “well-mannered citizens of Arcadia” are becoming increasingly upset with the board’s refusal to answer even the most basic questions about the landfill.
The Arcadia Town Board met on the evening of Nov. 26 in special session to approve Scoping Documents for a proposed landfill. Scoping documents are part of the environmental review process required by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and are one of the many steps required for approval of a permit to operate the proposed landfill on Rohlin Lane off Route 88. Specifically, the documents to be approved were for:
— The sale of land to be used as landfill, and
— Repeal Local Law No. 1 from 2006, which prohibits landfills in the Town of Arcadia.
Board members appeared to be surprised by the citizen comments and the quality of the comments. One hundred and twelve letters were submitted by concerned parties and according to the board, they were well thought out and detailed. Since the board must respond to these comments, they decided to delay the finalization of the Scoping Documents until at least the end of January. In addition, the board will most likely be required to hire a law firm specializing in environmental regulations to resolve some of the issues. Some of the scoping comments may require a year or more to resolve because they require data collection over extended time periods and various seasons, i.e., four season studies. One wonders why the citizens were able to identify these concerns and why the board and their engineer were not able to come up with them on their own. These studies are routine for this type of project and should have been anticipated. Thus, the Town Board will continue to spend taxpayers’ money to support this project. It should be noted that engineering costs related to this project are reimbursable by Arcadia Hills if the project is approved; however, legal fees are not reimbursable.
When the meeting was opened for residents’ comments several people spoke in opposition to the landfill and in particular to the continued spending on this project, much of which is not reimbursable.
One resident asked about the cost of the project and also commented that the board seemed to be blaming the citizens for extra costs required to resolve their comments. There was no response from the board.
Another resident also asked about the cost and Mr. Colacino responded that “they do not have an accurate cost.” She continued by asking if the process can be stopped (applause from the citizens), and Mr. Colacino responded that “they can stop the process but (he did not think) that was the wish of the board.”
Another 20-year resident asked “How do we get answers from this board” and “Why can’t you answer my questions?”
As person after person spoke, it became obvious that the normally “well-mannered citizens of Arcadia” are becoming increasingly upset with the board’s refusal to answer even the most basic questions about the landfill. There appears to be no cost estimate, no schedule and no business plan. These items would be required for any business before entertaining such a project, and the lack of them represents serious shortcomings of the board.
Page 2 of 2 - John Smith is an Arcadia resident.