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GRAVEL MINE HEARING IS CANCELED

The City of Olean's Planning Board has canceled the public comment session, but will meet at 7 p.m. today as planned to discuss William Giardini's proposal to expand his Allegany gravel mine into the city.

The 88.5-acre expansion, which would include 13.3 acres east of Gargoyle Road near Gargoyle Park and the City of Olean fire company training area, also is subject to review by the Town of Allegany, Cattaraugus County and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The statement from the city Community Development Department gave no reason for the cancellation, but last week the County Planning Board postponed its review until the end of the month and questioned a variance granted in December by the city's Zoning Board of Appeals.

The county is pressing for a coordinated review of environmental issues related to the proposal, which would have been returned to the county upon its review by the Town of Allegany Planning Board.

Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County claims the project is within a waterfront conservation district that includes the Allegheny River Trail and Gargoyle Park, and has asked officials to note issues raised by a resident of a nearby mobile home park and to guard against migration of contaminants found in a nearby city water well.

Giardini said the city pumps water from that well and vents trichlorethene into the air, adding that nearby trailer park residents registered only one complaint in 10 years.

He said the area has been mined since the early 1960s without causing dust or silt problems in the Allegany River.

Giardini said he plans to remove all the gravel from the city portion of the site in eight to 12 years, with processing operations located on the western portion of the site in Allegany.

Material will be excavated from below the water table to deepen two lakes to 50 feet.

Planners also are scheduled to discuss a site plan and special-use permit application for Neeta Soni, at 328 Delaware Ave.

The board meets in the Common Council Chambers in the Olean Municipal Building at 101 E. State St.

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