LEWISTON -- Only seven persons from a crowd of about 40 spoke Monday at a public meeting on the town's proposed agreement with Modern Landfill that would limit landfill operations and be worth more than $47 million to the town through the year 2011.
Henry M. Sloma of Autumn Lane said that the town benefits from having Modern as an employer but he did not like a provision that would permit part of the landfill to expand to a height of up to 95 feet.
Craig E. Avery, vice president of Waste Technology Services in Niagara Falls, said, "Comparing (Modern's) operation to other facilities, we have a very fine corporation in the town." In 1982, he said, Modern designed and built what some areas of the state and country are trying to meet in their landfills.
William E. Geiben, a former councilman, commended the Town Board for agreeing on the proposed settlement. However, he said he would like to see something in the document addressing truck traffic to and from the facility and that he would like the money that will go toward recreation to be set aside in a dedicated account.
Peter G. Ohanessian of Tryon Drive said he would like more accountability on the part of Modern. "I think what is lacking is some sort of enforcement" of handling the public's concerns, he said.
Supervisor Merton Wiepert of the neighboring Town of Porter asked whether his town was going to get any of the benefits from the agreement. "Is it possible that the Town of Porter may see more of this increased truck traffic?" he asked.
Timothy P. Henderson, president of Residents Organized for Lewiston's Environment, said the Town Board seems to have taken all of the correct steps to address everyone's concerns. "They included the public. They addressed ROLE's concerns from day one," he said.
However, Henderson added that "Lewiston's getting eight million more tons of garbage to baby-sit from outside of the town."
"It's going to gradually slip away from being an upscale community," said Henderson.
Town Engineer Robert A. Gallucci said written comments on the proposed agreement would be accepted in the town clerk's office until Friday.
The public's comments will be included in a document to be given to Modern by April 4, Gallucci said.
Town officials announced March 10 that they had reached a tentative agreement with Modern that would govern operations at the company's Model City Road disposal site through the year 2011, when landfilling would cease.
The agreement would limit the amount of waste handled each year through 2011. Supervisor Thomas E. Sharp estimated that the value of the agreement to the town would exceed $47 million. Under the proposal, residents would continue to receive free waste collection through 2011. Modern also would pay about $3 million to secure the old town landfill east of Harold Road.
Modern also would rebuild Model City Road and Harold Road, primary roads to the landfill which are deteriorated because of truck traffic, at a cost of $1.5 million.
The corporation would also pay $1.25 per ton of waste for children's programming at Artpark and the town's Recreation Department.