Seneca Falls City Council Approves Negotiation of New Host Agreement with SMI | New

SENECA FALLS — By a 3-2 vote on Tuesday, City Council authorized its two-member Landfill Committee to negotiate a new Host Community Agreement with Seneca Meadows Inc.

However, while the motion says negotiations will begin soon, any new HCAs are contingent on the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s approval of the landfill expansion application, generating operating capacity. until 2040 instead of 2025.

Supervisor Mike Ferrara and board members Frank Sinicropi and Kaitlyn Laskoski favored the measure. Steve Churchill and Dawn Dyson were opposites.

The motion sparked lively debate.

“Would that allow for negotiations now or after the DEC makes a decision?” Churchill asked.

Ferrara said talks would begin now.

“If that’s the case, I won’t support that. It puts the cart before the horse,” Churchill said. “It’s premature, and it will cost taxpayers money for legal consultants that would be wasted if DEC says no. I think we should wait for the DEC decision.

He was the only board member to comment before the vote. The council’s landfill committee is made up of Ferrara and Laskoski, although Ferrara said new city manager Peter Soscia could be involved.

Churchill said that “in a perfect world, I would think anyone who directly or indirectly obtained campaign donations from an outside group would recuse themselves”. He said he was referring to campaign contributions to Laskoski and Sinicropi in 2021 from an upstate group supporting the landfill’s continued operations.

“That’s incorrect,” retorted Laskoski. “I say FOIL. It is slander and evil.

Churchill said anyone receiving money from an outside source would be biased in favor of the dump. Laskoski said there was no evidence in his campaign report of SMI’s support.

“I would refer to the old adage that elections have consequences,” Ferrara said. “You say the candidates are bought off with money, but the incumbents last year also received contributions.

“People have spoken. There will be another election in 2023, and we’ll see what people say then.

SMI challenged Local Law 3-2016 in state court. Ferrara said a 4-1 majority of council opposes defending local law at the next level. He also said the smell, truck traffic and financial considerations for the city will all be addressed in a new hospitality agreement.

“They’re breaking the law now,” Churchill countered. “What will change? »

Someone asked if the burial committee meetings would be public. He was told no because they involve negotiations and the committee is not made up of a quorum of three board members.

Ahead of the vote, Barbara Reese of State Street urged the board to reject the resolution for a new hosting deal and defend Local Law 3-2016, which calls for the landfill to be closed by December 31. 2025. She described SMI’s odor mitigation plan. as “imperfect”, saying she smells it at home and has to close the windows of her classroom where she teaches because of the smell.

“It violates state and local law and the state constitution,” Reese said.

She noted that a new state law prohibits new landfills or the expansion of existing ones within 1,000 feet of a home or business. She quoted a friend who bought a house on Burgess Road in Waterloo next to the landfill because she thought it would close by law in 2025.

“I can see this dump everywhere I go,” Reese said. “They’ve grown many times since they took over in 1983. We can’t let that happen in 2022. You can decide how big it gets. Please reject the motion and enforce the law.

Reese’s closing statement drew applause from those in attendance.

Mark Pitifer, who represented Waterloo Container and owner Bill Lutz, questioned why the board would enter into negotiations for a new hosting agreement when he knew Local Law 3-2016 was still in effect.

“It’s an environmental issue. There is no justification for discussing a new deal at this time when they are not in line with the deal currently in place,” Pitifer said.

He said the city should wait until the draft environmental impact statement process is complete and all environmental issues are resolved before considering a new deal.

“SMI is suing the city and their scents are breaking the law,” Pitifer said. “Please consider everyone’s interests before making a decision.”

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