In a pre-election letter to Sardinia residents, Supervisor John Schiener, Councilman Norman Uhteg and Sheila Romance, who is seeking a councilmanic seat, have renewed their opposition to the Gernatt Asphalt Products Co. plan to mine gravel from its 400-acre property.
In their 1,500-word letter, they also oppose the start-up by CID Refuse Services Co. of a new landfill next to its Chaffee Landfill, but they left open the door to negotiations.
Noting that the town's previous negotiations with CID over landfill expansion failed to achieve any agreements, Schiener and Uhteg said:
"As representatives of all Sardinia residents, the Town Board has taken the silence as an indication of no widespread support for a new landfill."
Late in September, CID Group President Richard C. Penfold sent letters to town residents urging them to vote for Town Board candidates willing to consider allowing CID to expand its landfill operations. The Chaffee Landfill on Hand Road is expected to reach capacity and close in a few years.
If an expansion is allowed, Penfold said, the town could expect annual payments of $1 million for the next 20 years to help defray school, county and town taxes.
The Schiener-Uhteg-Romance letter mentions the good things that CID has done for Sardinia, as well as some of its failures, including the absence of proper landfill liners, several fines for improper operations and fears for the safety of water supplies.
The letter lists three options for dealing with the landfill problem:
Allowing it to close, ending the truck traffic and odors and covering the hill of trash with green vegetation.
Allowing CID to build another landfill off Hand Road in exchange for the $1 million annual payments to the town.
If Sardinia is to be known as the "landfill town," opening up the competition to other landfill operators. "This option would bring in the most money," the letter says.
The letter also contends that town officials do not have all the information needed for a sound decision on the landfill expansion.
"Are we willing to sentence our neighbors near the existing landfill to another 40 years?" the letter asks. "What do you believe is best for you and your family and Sardinia?"