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The Newstead Town Board, after a public hearing Monday evening, voted unanimously that a proposed composting facility at the Kreher Poultry Farm would not have a negative impact on the environment.

Councilman Thomas L. Cowan said the board reviewed all material from county and state environmental officials and from Cornell University.

"I feel legitimate questions were answered satisfactorily and explained in great detail by the Krehers," he said.

The 40-acre site at 5411 Davison Road, a half-mile mile north of Main Street, would transform leaves, grass clippings and other yard debris into compost to be used on the Kreher cornfield. It also would be sold.

The facility, in an area currently zoned for agriculture, is designed to handle 210 cubic yards of waste a day. Projections are for 16 trucks a day to stop at the facility.

An application to the state Department of Environmental Conservation says the entire field may be used, although the Krehers anticipate about 10 acres, or 25 percent of the field, might actually be used for composting.

Kurt Kreher answered questions from residents who expressed concern about the odor.

"Our main reason for becoming involved in this was to find a way to manage our manure better and reduce the odor," he said, explaining that the farm experimented with mixing chicken manure with grass and leaves.

"We ran a pilot project last year and found that by mixing six cubic yards of leaves with one cubic yard of manure, it was an excellent composting mixture, alleviating and in some cases, eliminating the odor.

Kreher said no arrangements have been made with other communities to accept their organic debris until the DEC issues a permit.

Other municipalities looking to find inexpensive alternatives to landfills and incinerators will be asked to pay a $5 tipping fee to help pay the high cost of specialized equipment.

"This is not something we need to do for a profit," Kreher said. "If we can eliminate odor and make ourselves better neighbors in the community while saving taxpayers a lot of money, then this will be regarded as a successful venture."

The board, at another public hearing, reviewed a site plan of the proposed car wash at 13375 Main Street.

Resident Barbara Nadrowski said she was concerned over a water shortage in the area and asked the board to consider a water study before issuing a special-use permit.

In other business, the board scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. July 10 on proposed Water District 6 and accepted the City of Elmira's $15,000 offer for a town garbage packer.

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