By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO May 6, 2005 The Town of Thompson is set to battle the county once again to end the expansion of the Sullivan County Landfill. However, some county legislators are considering an end to the countys involvement in landfills.
The legislature was set to hold a meeting yesterday to discuss alternatives to the landfill with local town officials.
Before that meeting even took place, Sullivan County Republican Party Chairman and county legislator Greg Goldstein said, Its time to get out of the garbage business.
He said it is costing the county too much time and money.
The county currently owes more than $50 million due to landfill expenses. Legislator Sam Wohl opposes the expansion as well, and Legislator Ron Hiatt has spoken out against the expansion of the landfill.
On Tuesday, the Town of Thompson Board unanimously approved a resolution allocating up to $20,000 for the legal services of Jacobowitz and Gubitz attorney Ben Gailley, who represented both the town and the Village of Monticello at last years issues conference between the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the county, SPECS and the Association of Supervisors.
Town of Thompson Supervisor Anthony Cellini said he was recently told by John LiGreci, chairman of the Association of Supervisors, that his group will once again oppose the town in its efforts to effectively close the landfill. The supervisors have not officially decided whether or not to hire legal counsel for the issue as they did last year to represent the association at the DEC issues conference.
The town will be on its own, as SPECS representatives announced at the meeting that they did not have the financial resources to once again fight the expansion of the landfill. The Village of Monticello may split the cost, as they did last year with the town. The village is set to pass a local law at its meeting next week, which it hopes will block the expansion of the landfill.
The town passed a resolution last month opposing the expansion of the landfill and calling on the county to comply with the towns code, which requires town planning board approval for any expansion.
The town will be representing the many residents who live near the landfill site, who have complained about the alleged deadly health effects of the site and its odor.
The planned Phase 2 expansion of the landfill would triple the amount of waste accepted, nearly double the acreage and raise the mound of garbage by 100 feet. Some of the concerned residents live within 100 feet of the landfill.
In other business at the Town of Thompson board meeting, Cellini announced that the town bonded $750,000 to pay for damage to bridges throughout the town, due to last months severe flooding. The town hopes to recoup most of that cost from FEMA.
The town may obtain grant money to build lighting and sidewalks in the business section of Rock Hill. Cellini said the work will not cost the town anything.
Cellini also announced that the town is selling a piece of land to the developer of the old Laurels Hotel in Sackett Lake.
The developers will build a sewage treatment facility on the property, to be used by both them and the town.