SENECA FALLS — The head of the Seneca Falls Environmental Action Committee urged the Town Board to enforce air-quality laws she claims Seneca Meadows is violating.
Valerie Sandlas said she is alerting the board of what she called an escalating odor problem caused by the Salcman Road landfill.
“I do this so we don’t reach the previous high levels of odor from 2015-16,” Sandlas said during Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. “Throughout the summer, the odor issue seems to be increasing again, especially in the morning and evening, but also during the day.”
Sandlas said she noticed a hike in odors over the weekend. She added that her daughter visiting from outside the area immediately noticed the smell.
“Last week at Mynderse Academy, a teacher told me she noticed it inside that school, and people often stop me to complain during the summer,” she said. “As a reminder, due to its inability to control odors, Seneca Meadows is currently violating the town code and state law, both of which prohibit air pollution.
“Seneca Meadows is polluting our air and interfering with our lives and health,” she added. “The (Committee) urges you and the town attorney to contact the appropriate officials to enforce these laws.”
Also Tuesday, the board discussed the recent closing of a two-block section of West Bayard Street, from Ovid to Bridge streets. The state Department of Transportation and the state Canal Corp. examined a tunnel under the street that drains water from Benton Pond. The tunnel was ruled to be in danger of collapsing.
Highway Superintendent Jim Peterson said state officials are trying to decide the best way to deal with the situation, noting there is no quick and easy fix. He said the closure could last a while, explaining that the canal can’t be lowered to allow work from the north end until Oct. 15.
Seneca Falls Fire Chief Allen Larsen, whose station is located within the closed section of West Bayard Street, said he is working on a best detour route if there is a need to fight a fire on the north side of the canal.
Police Chief Stu Peenstra said it is an emergency situation, and warning signs will be put up to inform motorists of the proper detours.
“It won’t be a quick fix, and we will need cooperation from everyone,” board member and Deputy Mayor Lou Ferrara said. “Center Street is already taking on considerable traffic as a detour route.”
In other matters:
• The board received an update on work being done on the town’s roads, sewer system and water plant upgrades. Board member Doug Avery noted that when people ask him how the town is spending $3 million in landfill revenue, he points to those repairs as being paid for with that money.
• Avery said the town should hold off on issuing a request for proposals related to the sale of surplus town property at 10 Fall St. and 60 State St. “I think we should wait and see how we make out with the (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) process first,” he said. Avery recommended holding off for six week, and the board agreed.
• Town Assessor Debra Waite was given a permanent appointment following her completion of required training. Her salary will be $50,000.