Tonawanda approves the shut down of sewage incinerators, plans to seek alternative options
At the top of that list were hearings regarding a Sludge Management Improvement Project and a land use license agreement for 707 Kenmore Ave., Town of Tonawanda.
The Town has been incinerating sewage sludge from the town, the City of Tonawanda and the Village of Kenmore since 1966.
“It may come as a surprise to some that we have been incinerating our sewer sludge since 1966. That’s when the first incinerator was constructed and a second was built in 1973,” said Ken Maving, of the Water Resources Department in the town.
According to Maving, the town has been following Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations accordingly until new regulations were issued in March 2011.
In order to continue using the incinerators the town would be required to make significant improvements to both of the existing incinerators at a rather high cost to the town.
As an alternative, Maving proposed it would be less expensive to shut the incinerators down than to continue operating them, and construct an additional facility that would be added onto the already existing facility.
The construction, which is projected at a cost of $3,500,000 for expansion or improvements, would then allow the sewage sludge to be conveyed from the existing building into the new building and then be loaded onto a trailer that will be delivered to a neighboring municipality that maintains the proper equipment to dispose of sewage sludge.
After construction is complete, there will be two trailers loads per day taken to another municipality.
The City of Buffalo is currently the municipality the town is looking into. They have three working incinerators and dispose of Amherst’s sewage sludge as well.
Maving added there are 12 municipal sewage sludge incinerators in New York State, six of those are scheduled to close in the near future.
Trusting in Maving’s judgement, the town voted to approve this resolution and move forward with closing the incinerators.
Looking to utilize, what has been deemed an eyesore in the town, the location of 707 Kenmore Ave., has the potential to become a used car sale establishment.
The tenant leasing 707 Kenmore Corp, submitted a special use permit to the board, seeking their approval in moving forward with opening the business.
Flags were raised by residents due to the dangerous location of the establishment on the corner of Kenmore and Starin Avenues.
Residents are nervous that customers will be test driving vehicles and will fail to use caution and look out for children riding their bikes and playing.
Another concern was the heavy traffic on the corner, therefore creating a construction zone in that area may not be safe.
After listening to the concerns of the public, the board approved the resolution granting the special use permit, as well as use of a portion of the adjacent right-of-way on Starin Avenue.
The applicant, Steve Robinson, and his design team assured the board there is a plan in place to better the area and construction is ready to kick-off.
“I already have an existing used car lot in another location. I have had some for more than 10 years,” said Robinson. “I have never had an incident or a problem. The fact that we will have mechanics on the property means they will go through the cars and make sure they are safe and road worthy.”
He added, “We don’t just let anybody test drive a car. We us a little bit of our own judgement and make sure they qualify.”
In other town news:
Residents brought their concerns to the board regarding what they feel is a poor quality of life.
Those residents who reside behind Caputti’s Sheridan Pub feel the loud music in the middle of the night and overflow of garbage in their backyards are taking over the place they call home.
One residents mentioned his fence was damaged on two different occasions after someone drove their vehicle through it.
Although he acknowledged that Wendy’s is the official owner of the parking lot adjacent to Caputi’s and they should be held responsible for this type of thing. He felt the incident occurred as a result of bar patrons drinking and driving.
Some residents are considering moving out of the town in order to gain a better quality of life and feel the Sheridan Plaza where Caputi’s is located, is a poor place for bars and tattoo parlors.
Councilman Dan Crangle told residents he recently spoke with Bill Caputi, owner of the pub and he agreed to take care of these complaints.
The board hopes to work with the residents, Caputi and local law enforcement in order to reach an agreement between all parties in order to increase the quality of life these residents are currently subjected to.
• The next Town of Tonawanda Town Board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10 at 2919 Delaware Ave., Kenmore.