SENECA FALLS — The Town Board decided Wednesday to not issue a permit to Seneca Meadows Inc. for its Salcman Road landfill. The permit would have affirmed that the landfill meets conditions of its state-issued operating permit.
The vote was 3-2.
Supervisor Greg Lazzaro made a motion to approve the zoning permit, with a second from board member Lou Ferrara. They were the two who voted to issue it.
“I am opposed to this as long as the landfill has a lawsuit in our face,” said board member Doug Avery. “And as long as they hold up on giving us money under the host agreement. As long as they are bringing in garbage, they should be giving us money.”
No one else commented before the vote. Joining Avery in opposing the permit were David DeLelys and Vic Porretta.
“Now where do we go is the question,” Lazzaro said. “This also raises a legal question, especially when the DEC has approved an operating permit for the landfill.”
“They have sued us. We did not sue them. It’s up to SMI. As long as they bring garbage in, they should pay us money,” Avery said.
Seneca Meadows area manager Kyle Black said, “Repeal Local Law 3. That’s why we are suing you.”
He was referring to Local Law 3 of 2016, which requires the landfill to close by Dec. 31, 2025, and prohibits any new solid waste facilities in the town. The landfill lawsuit claims that law should be declared null and void for various reasons.
“We’ve denied this permit before, and it hasn’t stopped you from taking in garbage,” DeLelys told Black.
Lazzaro said only one of the three who voted no can seek to have the matter reconsidered. “If you don’t, we’re rolling the dice. It could be a long row to hoe. It shows we are belligerent to a business in our town,” he said.
In other action, the board:
• Opened two bids for curbside pickup of household trash from the former village area of the town. The bids were from D&L Disposal of Newark for $116,660 for a year and from Cardinal Disposal of Dundee for $141,365.76 for the first year of a proposed five-year contract. That price would be the same for the second and third years then jump to $148,949.76 in the fourth year and to $156,533.76 in the fifth.
The board will act on the bids at a Wednesday afternoon special board meeting.
• Heard from two speakers, Brad Jones and Bob McGill.
Jones said there is a lack of transparency regarding the preliminary 2019 budget and said the spending plan does not include hiring an economic development director.
Lazzaro responded that the town has a Local Development Corporation to promote economic development.
“I don’t think this town is known for being business friendly,” Lazzaro said. “We have lost businesses because of the hoops they have to go through. We need to be shovel ready and we’re far from it.
“We need infrastructure repairs and how do we pay for it? Borrowing?” he said, adding that budget figures are available at the municipal building without having to file a Freedom of Information Law request.
McGill said all of upstate New York is having problems recruiting skilled employees, not just BonaDent and Goulds Pumps.
“You can’t compare Seneca Falls with other communities,” he said.
He said those critical of the budget should know the town has been integral in providing sewer service to large commercial developments on Routes 414 and 318.
“You people have your own agenda. You can’t wait to destroy this town so you can run it yourselves,” he said.
• Reviewed a proposed Inter-Municipal Agreement with Seneca County involving the transfer of the Route 414 sewer line from the Seneca County IDA to the town and then consider voting on the agreement Wednesday.
• Voted unanimously to take steps to market for sale the former Village Hall at 60 State St. A proposed sale of the building to a local business fell through. The sale of the former municipal building at 10 Fall St. to Longley-Jones Inc. is moving forward.