The Skaneateles Town Board has joined others in the Finger Lakes region, opposing Seneca Meadows expansion of its landfill in Seneca Falls.
The Skaneateles Town Board adopted a resolution supporting Local Law #3 and closure of the facility by 2025.
In a letter to Seneca Falls Supervisor Mike Ferrara and the Town Board, Skaneateles officials said they understood the difficulty of the situation.
“We know you have been challenged by Seneca Meadows Landfill as they seek approval to expand their landfill and continue their operation until 2040 and we applaud your continued support of this decision,” the letter from Skaneateles officials reads. “We strongly support your adoption of Local Law 3 of 2016. While we understand this has been a very challenging and emotional issue for your community, the number of trucks that travel to Seneca Meadows through our small communities on a daily basis has also had a tremendous impact on our quality of life as well.”
They explained the latter, alleging that garbage truck traffic has had an impact on quality of life in Skaneateles.
“For years, the Town of Skaneateles has been challenged with the number of garbage trucks getting off of Rt. 81 at Homer and traveling up either the east side (Rt. 41) of Skaneateles Lake or the west side (Rt. 41A) of Skaneateles Lake headed to Seneca Falls. Skaneateles Lake provides drinking water to over 200,000 people including the City of Syracuse and many surrounding communities. Diesel trucks especially have a greater impact on the environment and human health. But this is just not a Skaneateles issue, many of our small Finger Lakes communities are facing the same issue in their Towns and Villages,” the letter continues. “And while trucks are supposed to stay on Rt. 81 to the Thruway and then to Seneca Meadows, it is clear that they do not.”
“We understand the impact this will have on your budget and we know the extreme pressure you must be under. Please know we will continue to support this decision and will encourage others to do the same,” the letter concludes.
A local group, Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles submitted their own letter to the local town board for the record.
“As you well know, the problems caused by long haul trash truck traffic traveling between New York City and Seneca Falls have plagued dozens of communities in the Finger Lakes for decades,” CPCS writes in the letter. “The costs have been steep, including damaged secondary roads as these sizeable trash trucks continue to forsake the interstates to take shortcuts back and forth between Seneca Falls and metropolitan NYC.”
They note the importance of tourism, and the impact that municipal solid waste has on it- as reason for supporting legislation.
“The preponderance of constant trash truck traffic barreling through our town and village on routes 20, 41 and 41A has generated continuous noise and increased air pollution, while threatening catastrophic accidents along Skaneateles lake, which is the drinking water source for more than 200,000 residents in Syracuse and surrounding areas,” CPCS continues. “Over the past 30 years, CPCS has petitioned the state to more strictly regulate this particular niche of truck traffic, which accounts for more than 250 trash trucks passing through the Village on any given day. For various reasons, the state has failed to take any formal enforcement action. One of the best ways to eliminate the problem caused by these long haul trash trucks is to shut down their destination located in the heart of the Finger Lakes–the colossal solid waste management facilities in Seneca Falls.”
At the center of the letters, as well as resolutions passed by Skaneateles and other local boards, is the possibility of continued operation at Seneca Meadows until 2040, if an expansion is approved by the DEC.
Both letters support the Town of Seneca Falls’ resolution, asking the DEC to deny the expansion.
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