Share this article

print logo

OXFORD ACCEPTS LACKAWANNA CONDITIONS ENERGY FIRM WELCOMES COUNCIL VOTE IN FAVOR OF TIRE-BURNING FACILITY

Additional conditions set by the Lackawanna City Council before it will approve a tire-burning energy plant in the city are acceptable to Oxford Energy Co., a company spokesman said Tuesday.

"We anticipate that we will be able to comply with them. . . . We think we can work out something," spokesman Kevin O'Reilly said from Boston.

The Council, by a 3-2 vote Monday, adopted a resolution supporting the proposed $100 million project on the Bethlehem Steel site if additional conditions can be met.

Meeting two of the conditions proposed by 4th Ward Councilman Marion M. Druzbik shouldn't pose any problem, O'Reilly said. Those conditions include a system allowing city residents to dispose of old tires at no charge and provide a $250,000 fund over eight years to stabilize manpower levels in the Fire Department.

A third condition, coming up with a way to help the city lower its electric bill, is more complicated "but we think we can work something out," O'Reilly said. That would have to involve an arrangement with Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. for the city to receive a discount on its power usage.

Oxford "is pleased and gratified" by the Council decision, he said. The company is in the process of preparing a draft environmental impact statement that is expected to be submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation next month. That document will be the subject of public hearings before the DEC makes a decision on whether or not to approve the project.

The Council action Monday was immediately criticized by opponents of the project, but a group that supports it issued a statement Tuesday praising Druzbik "on a tough decision."

The Lackawanna Coalition for Progress believes the project "will create jobs and gain tax dollars and resources to meet our city's pressing problems," said Michael Altman, chairman of the group.

"We believe the project will benefit the people of Lackawanna as long as it meets all (environmental) requirements," Altman said.

There are no comments - be the first to comment