Metro Enviro LLC and Greentree Realty LLC recently filed a $50 million lawsuit against the Village of Croton-on-Hudson and have gotten a stay in court to continue operations until at least August 6, 2005.
Therefore waste-hauling trucks continue to travel through the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, despite the village winning a recent appeal, on their way to Metro Enviro.
Meanwhile two choices appear to lay ahead for the mayor, Board of Trustees and residents of Croton-on-Hudson to consider.
The Village could continue fighting the current unsettled claim over non-renewal of a special use permit with Metro Enviro LLC while at the same time, begin court proceedings over a new lawsuit filed on new grounds from a different plaintiff. The newest lawsuit could argue that the special use permit in question runs with the land not with Metro Enviro, that the site's maximum commercial value is use related to material transfer and that new permit applications, if made, are likely to involve the same use.
If the current board stays the course, and fights dual court battles with both Metro Enviro LLC and Greentree Realty LLC, the transfer station may continue to operate during litigation while the duration of legal defense and cost of future legal fees remain unknown. In addition, if the site is closed, Greentree Realty LLC is sure to proceed with their new action that seeks unspecified damages as they allege that their property rights are being impaired by the Village.
Otherwise, the current republican-majority on the Village board, that includes first-term Dr. Mayor Greg Schmidt, first-term Trustee Jim Steinberg and first-term Trustee Tom Brennan who have pledged "to not negotiate with Metro Enviro" towards a settlement and insist on its closure, could reconsider their stance.
By adopting a new legal strategy, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson could settle both pending actions and revise a new special use permit that yields greater oversight of the facilty while gaining enhanced economic benefits, as noted in the following suggestions.
Gain greater controls of facility
Receive enhanced economic benefits
Over five years, the Village of Croton-on-Hudson could add as much as $5,818,500 in income from Metro Enviro operations, assuming that a maximum of 234,000 tons of C&D waste is transferred from the facility at a fees per ton previously outlined. That total averages to $1,163,700 per year, a sum equal to nearly 9% of the 2005-2006 fiscal budget of $13,165,527 for the village (pdf).
The future may be more uncertain than before as Metro Enviro LLC and Greentree Realty LLC continue to demonstrate their collaborative commitment to a powerful industry and a very valuable piece of privately-owned land.
As with other large and influential corporate neighbors like Entergy Nuclear Northeast's Indian Point Energy Center, community activism has helped to transform two of the most poorly run nuclear reactors in the country, into, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the safest with green ratings, the highest available.
The same holds true with Metro Enviro, a company that admits to fraudulently operating its business in many ways, directly in violation of the special use permit it was issued in 1998, does so no longer.
Just as residents around Indian Point might prefer not living in the shadows of a nuclear power plant, but since we are, it better be safe and secure as its owners insist, like the sirens better work when there is no power by way of a localized generators and so on...
Metro Enviro is in compliance, (com·pli·ance) n. 1. The act of complying with a wish, request, or demand; acquiescence, only now because our community and Village Board acted on their misconducts. Should Metro Enviro or another similar company continue to do business in our Village, the residents of Croton-on-Hudson should expect them to be both good corporate citizens and compliant neighbors.
This is a very important issue to the Village of Croton-on-Hudson, so please call, write or speak directly to your most-trusted Trustee and our mayor with you questions, comments and concerns.
-- Steve Smith & Ross Weale (Oops. We forgot to include the byline on our article when it was originally published... Updated: 07/28/2005 12:21:45. Updated again with definition of the word "compliance": 07/29/05 17:55:06)