While the members of Alden Residents for Responsible Growth may still have a long road ahead in their fight against big-box retail in the Town of Alden, they are taking that journey one step at a time.
The latest step occurred Monday night at the Alden Town Board meeting, when spokeswoman Coleen Czechowski presented a two-page document written by Gary S. Solar, Buffalo State College professor of geology and department chairman.
In his report, Solar details what he believes will be a negative impact on the village aquifer and recharge area if the proposed Wal-Mart is to be developed.
"Just scratching the surface in this correspondence, in my opinion, the site will more than likely have several negative impacts on the residences located on the east border of the proposed site, the village aquifer and on both the local and regional water shed," Czechowski read.
In the document, Solar, whose four-page resume was presented to the Town Board along with his recommendation, cited paving, concrete, slope change, runoff and a large parking area as potential harmful factors that could lead to contamination of the municipality's water.
"In short, any construction will have an environmental impact. However, it appears that this proposed site is located exactly in the wrong direction if the environmental impact is desired to be low," the document reads.
"There are some issues in regard to water discharge," Town Supervisor Ron Smith said. "But I am not an engineer or a geologist. I rely on [Town Engineer Michael Metzger] to meet that expertise. This is part of the environmental review process. [The town Planning Board and Town Board] need to look at it together and go over the environmental impact statement."
While Metzger said he did not have a chance to view Solar's document before the meeting, he feels several things need to fall into place before the aquifer comes into question.
Developer Frank Russo recently submitted his third environmental assessment form to the town, according to Metzger.
"A decision still needs to be made to rezone the property," Metzger said. "The first step is the environmental impact review, completing that assessment form is really the first step -- there is no predetermined conclusion here, and one won't be made until all the information is in."