croton blog for croton-on-hudson new york


Decisions, Decisions...

November 11, 2005


As reported, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) will make a decision on the Northeast Interstate Railway (NIR) application next Wednesday, November 16th.

Their decision, whatever it is, will require subsequent decisions by our Board of Trustees. What are the possibilities regarding next Wednesday’s decision?

  1. Approval of the NIR application to be considered a railroad or common carrier. If the STB approves the NIR application, the Village will need to pursue whatever avenues of appeal are available. This probably means an appeal to the U. S. Secretary of Transportation.

  2. Denial without prejudice. If the STB denies the application without prejudice, it will be because they want some further information or find some flaw in their initial application. It means NIR can apply again after amending their application without prejudice to their resulting from their first application. This has happened before in a similar situation for a Massachusetts firm.

  3. Denial. Denial means NIR will not be considered a railroad but may not be the end of the story.

Here are some questions for all of us, especially our Trustees, to answer. Residents really need to get involved in these decisions because they all will affect us in the long run.

If the STB approves the NIR application, while an appeal is going on, can NIR begin its operations as a railroad entity?

On any of the 3 results, what additional steps can the Village take to protect itself? What are these possibilities? I have identified some in earlier letters but here they are again. This is not an exhaustive list but rather food for thought:

Another situation that may develop if the STB denies the application of NIR is that another entity, that is already a railroad, may well apply to the STB for an exemption to handle waste transfer at the site.

On a further note, a rejection of NIR as a railroad entity does not mean they won’t be operating the site. Greentree LLC, which owns the site, has a lease agreement with NIR to operate the site at least as a C & D transfer operation as Metro Enviro did in the past. In that regard, NIR is seeking licensing from the Westchester Solid Waste Commission (WSWC) and a NYSDEC transfer of Metro Enviro’s permit to them.

The WSWC is meeting on Thursday, November 17th to decide the licensing issue. The NYSDEC is processing the permit application as well and, at least in their letter appearing on the STB website, does not appear to be opposed to granting the permit.

This is a matter of critical importance to our Village. It is very important for you to be informed and involved in the decisions ahead.

— Ann Gallelli

On November 13, 2005 2:53 PM, culliganman said:

Oh please with the myth that this board laid a solid legal foundation. They would not even issue a violation until forced to do so by Walter Mack. It was Mack and Mack alone that won our case. After all, as a former Trustee Grant used to say, “It’s not a violation if they fixed it!”

On November 13, 2005 1:58 PM, weewill said:

So what’s your point Culliganman? A site plan application isn’t even remotely similar to a request to the ZBA for a variance. The expressed intention of the Planning Board to serve as lead agency has absolutely nothing to do wih a request for a variance. Something else while we’re at it -Ann Gallelli’s granting of the variance is not scattered among village documents because it doesn’t exist. It’s yet another figment of your imagination or worse yet, a deliberate spin to fool some of the people all of the time!

Its very magananimous for you to say you “thought our officials thought they were doing the right thing.”

And for once you’re right. Bob Elliott and the Trustees, the Village Administration, the Village Attorney, the environmental consultants all agreed a solid legal foundation needed to be laid. Actions couldn’t be based on emotional, uninformed citizens objections.

The final resolution bears the correctness of that advice. History has proved all of them right. Metro Enviro is closed. The Village has won. Now it’s up to the new board to keep us “all okay.”

On November 13, 2005 1:14 PM, culliganman said:

As for the claim that this site has been a C&D operation for “sixty years”, again the files say differently. Submit a foil request for

DEC. 23, 1986 ZBA RULES ON APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION; RESOLUTION: USE OF PROPERTY FOR C&D CONSTITUTES A CHANGE OF USE OF THE PREMISES

I could go on and on but what’s the point. It’s about accountability and responsibility. And residents knew exactly where to look last March. They will know exactly where to look again next March too.

Now before you rip off my head, let me say this. I think our officials thought they were doing the right thing but time has shown they weren’t. Sorry but it’s hard for people to take advice from the very guys who to this day, just can’t say they made a mistake. Because the record shows that these people were outgunned every step of the way.

Let’s hope we’ll be okay

On November 13, 2005 12:57 PM, culliganman said:

Weewill you can’t find it online because it is scattered across documents in the village files. See all the documents for the following. Of course you will have to submit a foil request.

JAN 23 1995 SITE PLAN APPLICATION FOR HARMON RECYCLE IS FILED INCLUDING FULL ENVIRO. ASSESSMET FORM AND COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT FORM IN ORDER TO START A RAIL HAUL OPERATION

FEB 7, 1995 PLANNING BD UNAMINOUSLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION AUTORIZING DISTRIBUTION OF NOTICE TO ALL INVOLVED AGENCIES OF THE PLANNING BD’s INTENTION TO SERVE AS LEAD AGENCY FOR THE RAIL HAUL PART OF PROJECT

FEB 10, 1995 BY LTR DATED 2/10/95 THE PLANNING BD NOTIFIED ALL INVOLVED AGENCIES OF ITS INTENT TO SERVE AS LEAD AGENCY

FEB 14, 1995 INDUSTRIAL RECYCLING AKA HARMON RECYCLE SUBMITS COMPLETE APPLICATION TO MODIFY EXISTING PERMIT WITH NYSDEC FOR RAIL HAUL

On November 13, 2005 11:39 AM, weewill said:

Culliganman (This reader was BANNED from Crotonblog for comment spamming on 12/06/05, see “A Penal Process Known as Banishment… Explained”) and Puppuluv, Are you one and the same person? It’s telling that you both are consistently wrong on the same topics. And not only are you wrong, but you’re stubborn as well.

1) Ann Gallelli has never had the authority to grant a variance. That authority resides with the Zoning Board of Appeals and only the Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA is a quasi-judicial board empowered to grant exceptions. The Planning Board is not. Neither Ann nor the Planning Board has ever had that authority.

2) The document you so readily quote from are not minutes of a Planning Board meeting. It is Statement of Findings for Public Input and Comment, prepared by special council for the Village Board. And the copy you tell us to refer to is a DRAFT only of that document. I’ve been searching for ZBA minutes of the meeting at which the, the ZBA, granted the variances for both the side yard and the RR spur and will be sure to post them when I can find them.

3) Another correction to your post … no one said RR ties and tires were considered C&D. It was correctly stated that back in the old days before there was any monitoring of the site at all, tires and RR ties were accepted along with virtually anything a person was trying to dispose of.

4) The approval of the variance for a side yead dimension as well as for the rr spur was welcomed by the professionals working on permit conditions with the village as well as the DEC.

And so Frick and Frack. Check your facts!

On November 13, 2005 10:42 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

Ms. Gallelli has never, nor ever will have SOLE authority to grant anything in this village - she heads a board of individuals who work together to make decisions, and each member of the board brings his or her expertise to the table in the decision making process. It may be that Ms Cudaquest has authority over her group as to what they may or may not say, but that is not the case on village boards where each board speaks after a consensus of often varying opinions has been reached.

On November 13, 2005 1:36 AM, bayswaterguy said:

Puppuluv, I’ve been reading crotonblog for quite a while, and I find the give and take amusing. What I don’t find amusing is when I find a clear, self-serving misstatement. Where do you get your information that railroad ties are not considered to be construction and demolition debris “anywhere”?

The easiest of internet searches would have shown you that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Everyone in Croton - or at least Cudequest and her cronies - are worried about Ohio? Check out this website from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency — railroad ties are clearly considered to be construction debris, and are permitted to be accepted as such, at numerous locations in Ohio.

Please get your facts right before you start lecturing others.

On November 12, 2005 9:07 PM, puppuluv said:

Wow! Talk about misinformation. I’ll try to answer each and every one of your errors when I can but for now, let’s start with number 4 in which you say: 4. Ms. Gallelli has never had the authority to grant any kind of variance. That authority has always resided with the ZBA. Fortunately the ZBA recognized the addition of a rail spur as clear advantage in the ability to quickly and efficiently remove materials from the site, thus significantly reducing the amount of truck traffic through the village.

Now let’s go to the record, from the village files with the link provided:

In late 1998, Metro Enviro LLC obtained from the Planning Board a side yard area variance and a modification of the DEC permit to allow construction of a metal building above the processing pad, as well as installation of the rail spur (here).

As for number 5, give me a day or two and those records will be provided as well.

Again, it’s a matter of doing one’s homework and actually looking at the record. Stay tuned for more. Hey Culliganman (This reader was BANNED from Crotonblog for comment spamming on 12/06/05, see “A Penal Process Known as Banishment… Explained”), care to take on any of the rest?

Incidentally, tires and railroad ties are not considered C&D waste—-anywhere. More from the files when I can.

On November 12, 2005 8:27 PM, weewill said:

Perhaps the following will correct some false information posted on today’s blog. There are multiple inaccuracies in the above post by culliganman. For purposes of simplicity, I’ll refer to the writer as “she”. Whether male or female makes no difference. Regrettably the opinions expressed are limited and uneducated. They are so tainted by ego and arrogance as to make them useless.

  1. I don’t know where she got the idea that the “village’s legal filings indicate the site has not always been C&D.” I’ve watched this site accept, store, generate and transport every kind of C&D known to mankind over the years. In addition to C&D smelly composting yard waste, huge, often diseased tree trunks, decaying creosoted railroad ties, tires, and virtually anything someone was trying to dispose of was accepted. Through 60 continuous years, from Milano to Liguori, Sr. to Liquori, Jr as Industrial Recyling to Appollonio as Metro Enviro LLC to Metro Enviro Allied Waste. These are the facts and can’t be disputed.

  2. When the first special permit was granted (incidentally by Roland Bogardus’ board) in the 80’s, for the first time and to their credit, some operating restrictive guidelines were made a part of that special permit. Later, in the 1990 renewals of that special permit, they were strengthened and tightened after lengthy professional review. Responsible additions were agreed upon to protect the health, safety and welfare of our community. These protections clearly outlined the actions to be taken should any of these requirements be ignored and violated. What happened when they were is now history.

  3. Petruscible waste? That’s pure opinion, speculation and assumption.

  4. Ms. Gallelli has never had the authority to grant any kind of variance. That authority has always resided with the ZBA. Fortunately the ZBA recognized the addition of a rail spur as clear advantage in the ability to quickly and efficiently remove materials from the site, thus significantly reducing the amount of truck traffic through the village.

  5. The village was always going to be a target for NYC garbage? Wherever did she get this misinformation? Again, it’s pure speculation with no foundation in fact.

And in closing, let me join with “so many other residents,” and “my neighbors and I” as we say thank you to Bob Elliott’s and his board for being responsible and patient as they worked through the legal steps necessary to protect this village in court. “Many residents and neighbors” are grateful to them for having the courage and wisdom to follow the law and make the difficult and politically charged decisions leading to final victory in the New York Courts. If Culliganman thinks people should read the court decisions, she’ll see that actions of the previous board did indeed ensure the necessary legal foundation for victory in court. After 60 years of operation that C&D site is closed. We won legally in court. Now we can only hope this new board does as well and be as careful and forward thinking in order achieve a best end result for Croton.

On November 12, 2005 2:54 PM, culliganman said:

Mrs. Smith: Let’s not talk about homework. Instead see the village’s legal filings. It is Croton’s contention that this site has NOT always been a C&D site, hence the need for Metro to have applied for a special permit, which they did. This constant contradition of our own legal briefs must come to an end. Also it is the neight of naievte to believe that solid waste, as in putrescible waste, was never going to end up there. Once again, please do your homework and look at the exhibits that came with the Mack investigations. Allied openly stated that they only contemplated the site of the site for C&D, NOT that they were committing to it forever. Once Ms. Gallelli granted the side yard variance that was necessary to build the rail spur and a large enclosure (a not much smaller enclosure could have still been built and without the spur variance that has now caused us so much trouble), the village was always going to be a target for NYC garbage no matter who was in charge. That is why so many residents begged their officials not to do this. They did want they wanted to anyway and THAT is why we are in the position we are today. Because they could not “see farther” than 1998, while everyone else around them could. You also seem to think that somehow we are safer with C&D debris. again please do your homework. See the Channel 5 series in Ohio. C&D is among some of the worst waste you can have. It’s time to just accept responsibility for this mess and stop giving out advice to a community that has suffered long enough from people who cannot admit that they were consummately and forever wrong.

On November 12, 2005 8:15 AM, Mrs. Smith said:

Go back and do your homework puppuluv. This village did NOT embrace GARBAGE back in 1998, it regulated a CONSTRUCION AND DEMOLITION transfer site that had been in the village for many, many years before. What we may end up with now is garbage, but it was not what the site was permitted for in 1998 and now as it was then, your use of the word garbage is wrong and inflammatory

On November 11, 2005 10:19 PM, puppuluv said:

A few things about Ms. G’s comments. The Massachusetts facility, if it is the one I am thinking of, is a completely different animal. It’s rail spur was built with grant money that was approved by the community it was to operate in. Surely this village in no way assisted the building of this rail spur although Mr. Apollonio did say he did not have the money to finish it. But apparently he found it

Perhaps he did build the spur with grant money. But Im sure the village would have never gotten involved in helping him the way Massachusetts did.

The Massachusetts company is also, I believe, also affiliated with Champion City Recovery/Regus, now being sued along with Mr. Gruson, by Ohio.

This is all pretty much common knowledge because all the communities are working with us, the USEPA, the attorneys etc and is discussed many times in email and public meetings as we move ahead to undo what should have never happened in the first place: the embrace of garbage again by this village in 1998.

On November 11, 2005 3:49 PM, bojangles said:

It is a real public service that Ms. Galelli is supplying the residents with so much background information about the waste transfer station in the past and what the village faces now. Thank you so much.

One can’t help but wonder why the Mayor isn’t pitching in. He and the board must know the same stuff Ms. Galelli knows yet they don’t share it with us at all. What’s going on?

I’m sure other residents wonder as well. It makes us nervous and I ask the Mayor to let us know where he stands. He can’t leave it all to Ms. Galelli. There have been several good suggestions make and it doesn’t seem that the board is listening to them at all. Please let us know what’s going on at all those closed door meetings.



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