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Essex County talking trash

The photo above appeared in the same issue of the ADE in 1996.

There was quite a controversy at the Essex County Board of Supervisors over a request for modification of the Essex County landfill in May 1996.

I am happy that the present North Elba supervisor, my friend Jay Rand, and his predecessor, my friend Supervisor Roby Politi, did not have to get into this garbage. … They are both very clean.

It is best that I let Katy Odell Wilson, crack reporter for the Enterprise, tell you what was going on at a particular meeting of the board on Monday, May 6, 1996:

“They are in the minority, but supervisors opposed to the Essex County landfill sale and the recent decision to file suit against state agencies in the matter continue to believe that the county should maintain ownership of the site.

“Supervisors voted Monday to bring legal action against the Adirondack Park Agency, the Department of Environmental Conservation, and the town of Lewis for interfering with the county’s request to the state to increase the daily tonnage rate at the landfill. Serkil, the private firm now leasing the site, wants to take up to 500 tons of waste per day, rather than the 95 currently allowed. The county asserts its permit should have been granted by now so the sale to Serkil could be concluded; however, review process has stalled since the APA officials changed their minds about taking jurisdiction in the permit review and the county refused to sign off on an APA permit application. The county’s application to the DEC last year should suffice for joint review, county officials claim.

You Know What Else ...?

“Essex Supervisor Fred Drummond voted against the motion to proceed with a lawsuit because he is opposed to the sale of the landfill, a decision made before he joined the board in January.

“‘I can’t see any reason why we couldn’t have gotten someone to operate the dump,’ he said about the county hiring a firm to manage the site, even if it meant operating on a break-even basis. But all towns in the county would have to be committed to dumping trash there, he said.

“‘I’m not convinced on the sale of it and I won’t back it,’ Drummond said.

“He said at this point, ‘The best thing that can happen … is the state take over.’

“‘If the governor [then Pataki, who was opposed to the increased tonnage] doesn’t want to see his Adirondack Park with a great big pile of garbage, they (state officials) should do something about it.’

“Supervisor Allen Dickerson of Elizabethtown, who also voted against proceeding with the lawsuit, did so because ‘It’s in my backyard … my board is wholeheartedly against selling that thing,’ he said about the landfill.

“He would like to see the county keep ownership of the site.

“Dickerson added, ‘I think (we) ought to go back to solid waste management.’

“The supervisor said that he had heard numerous concerns from constituents about the proposed sale, especially about increased truck traffic toward the site if increased daily tonnage rates are permitted.”

Time marches on

From the internet:

“On December 4, 1995, Essex County filed with the Department Region 5 Division of Regulatory Services an application to modify its existing solid waste management facility to permit to increase the daily tonnage of solid waste received in the Essex County landfill …

“Staff forwarded a request on February 22, 1996, to the Department of Hearings seeking a hearing on the County’s application …

“Upon receipt of the Hearing Request in the Office of Hearings, I was assigned as the presiding Administrative Law Judge [Robert P. O’Connor] in the instant matter …”

Local government issues go on and on

Those who have served in public office know that some issues are never resolved. I was first elected to public office as Saranac Lake village trustee in March 1962. Once in a while, something will come up that we talked about back then, when “politics” was fun, not mean.

Here is an excerpt from a piece about the Essex County landfill in a story by Kim Dedam in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican on Oct. 6, 2014, 18 years after the above story:

“The Essex County Board of Supervisors voted to enter into a five-year contract with Serkil.

“But several towns are looking for a clause in the final agreement that would let them back out of the county solid waste program.”

So, what else is new?

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