|
|
|
Wayne Post
  • Developer speaks out on landfill

  • When Arcadia Hills landfill developer and owner Joe Alloco announced he’d be available for questions after the Town Board’s meeting last week, residents took him up on it.

    • email print
  • When Arcadia Hills landfill developer and owner Joe Alloco announced he’d be available for questions after the Town Board’s meeting last week, residents took him up on it.
    Since late last summer, Alloco has been criticized by residents for his lack of attendance at meetings as well as his lack of presence in the community as a whole after submitting a proposal to the town to develop a solid waste facility on Route 88 at the site of the old town landfill.
    Alloco wasn’t on the agenda for the Town Board meeting last Tuesday night, but he did make himself available for questions and concerns after the meeting.
    Surrounded by community members — all opposed to having a landfill in their backyard — Alloco fielded a variety of questions. Most notable were queries surrounding the “significant technical issue for landfill design.” Residents wanted details. Town engineering firm MRB was notified of the technical issue in a letter from Arcadia Hills’ engineers, Ensol, on Jan. 17, but specifics were not provided and have remained unidentified.
    In the correspondence, Arcadia Hills requested that all work on the final scoping document — which outlines what environmental issues the developer must address — be suspended until the engineers work it out. They also waived the timeline requirements under the state Envirnmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) to complete the scoping process.
    Earlier in the meeting, resident Roger Straub said he was “deeply concerned” with the issue, wondering if it could affect his health. The fact that the technical issue has remained unidentified is “more worrisome,” he said.
    Straub’s sentiments were echoed by others as they took the opportunity to get answers from the man who proposed the landfill after having coffee with a town employee who informed him that the town was a mess financially, he said.
    But Alloco was not forthcoming with specifics.
    “It’s not an environmental issue that’s going to hurt anyone,” Alloco told residents. “It’s more of a nuisance thing.”
    However, if he can’t overcome the technical issue, the project is dead, he said. He told the Town Board in a letter that he’ll have an answer on the matter within three weeks.
    Whatever the issue is, Alloco assured residents he takes the safety of the landfill very seriously, noting that his “own kids are going to work on that site all day.”
    Alloco went on to say that he finds the environmental quality review process frustrating, adding he’d prefer to have all the answers to his concerns immediately. He also alluded that the technical issue could affect his ability to get the permits he needs to operate the facility.
    The SEQRA process also restricts what he can tell the public, Alloco said in explaining his relative silence.
    Page 2 of 2 - “Everything must be submitted in writing and answered in writing,” he said.
    Alloco said despite the delay, his engineers have been working diligently on the unspecified problem. He said he wants to know how to resolve it before announcing the problem to the Town Board. If the technical issue can’t be resolved, Alloco told residents he does not intend to move forward with the landfill.
    Regardless, the technical issue being worked on will come out through the environmental review process, he said.
    As vice president of Concerned Citizens of Arcadia, Matt Ury spoke candidly with Alloco and the Town Board at the meeting. Ury requested a business plan for the proposed landfill from Alloco after confirming for the record that the Town Board did no research on the project and accepted the monetary projections provided by Arcadia Hills. Ury also criticized the board for using the projected numbers in the media when they had failed to validate them, adding that using those figures was an attempt to gain public support for the project.
    Ury also inquired about the truth to rumors that the board could be sued by Arcadia Hills if they back out of the proposal now. Town Attorney David Saracino said he couldn’t speculate on the matter largely because it hinges on how SEQRA regulations are interpreted.
    “It is my understanding that the town may have the authority to terminate the process any time if it’s a legislative decision,” he said.
    Alloco did not comment on the matter and was not asked by residents about it after the meeting.

      calendar