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Controversy surrounds Varick’s support of Seneca Meadows

The Varick Town Board’s decision to support the expansion of Seneca Meadows Inc.’s landfill has sparked criticism from environmental groups and local residents. The Board’s October vote backed the plan, citing the environmental record of Waste Connections, Seneca Meadows’ parent company, and the importance of supporting local employment.

Meanwhile, the Finger Lakes Times reports opponents, including Seneca Lake Guardian and Susan Ottenweller, chair of the Varick Zoning Board of Appeals, have questioned the board’s motives. Ottenweller accused the board of ignoring local residents’ views and alleged conflicts of interest, particularly pointing to board member Tom Fox, whose security business has a contract with Seneca Meadows. She has filed a complaint with the State Attorney General’s Public Integrity Bureau.

Eight municipalities and two county governments, along with numerous officials and organizations, have opposed the landfill’s expansion.

The debate continues as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation prepares to decide on the landfill’s permit application. An exact date for this decision is not clear at this point.