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Falls entrepreneurs irritated by waste supply plan

April 13 – Plans for a new waste transfer facility on 56th Street in LaSalle are not sitting well with some neighboring business owners.

Members of the city’s planning board agreed last month to approve a site plan for the project, which is being developed by Youngstown businessman John Battaglia, who operates existing waste transfer facilities in Buffalo, Rochester, Tonawanda and Lockport.

The facility, located at 540 56th St., is being billed by the developer as a new option for residents and businesses looking to dispose of waste and recycling materials. The project, which would include the construction of a new 16,000-square-foot building where municipal solid waste, construction materials and debris would be received and transferred, represents an investment of between $3 million and $4 million, according to Battaglia.

Bob Vitagliano, owner of Fred’s Collision, an auto and repair shop at 530 56th St., near the proposed location of the new waste facility, said he is concerned that the “mess” such an operation would create “will destroy his business.” destroy”. .”

Jim Zakia, owner of Zakia’s Automotive located at 572 56th St., next door to Vitagliano’s business, expressed similar concerns.

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“We’ve got all these eighteen-wheelers coming here,” Zakia said. “It’s going to be a cluster. It’s going to be a mess.”

While the chairman of the city’s planning board said that ample notice of the project was given to area business owners prior to the council’s public hearing on the project, both Vitagliano and Zakia said they were only made aware of it after seeing the story about the project. the approval of the zoning plan in the newspaper.

“Obviously there will be no opposition because the people on the board and the people making these decisions don’t own these companies,” Vitagliano said.

“They should have warned everyone on the street,” Zakia said.

“I would have gone to that hearing,” he added. “I didn’t know anything about it.”

Planning Board Chairman Tony Palmer said area businesses were notified in advance of the March meeting, adding that he specifically “asked for the radius for property owner notices (for the public hearing) to extend from 500 to 700 feet” from adjacent properties. Palmer said he felt a large number of nearby homes were outside the 500-foot boundary for immediate reporting.

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He also said notices of the public hearing had been published in advance in the Gazette.

The location plan proposal was on the Planning Bureau’s agenda four times. It was written about three times in the Gazette, the last time being the approval.

“We hold public hearings and no one shows up. I don’t know what to tell you,” Palmer said.

“The project meets the requirements for the (zoned) use of that land,” he added.

Battaglia and his partner on the project, Mike Halliday, addressed planning board members at a March 14 meeting and indicated that they have extensive experience with the type of work they want to do at the 56th Street site and that the facility will would do. be an advantage and not a disadvantage for the environment.

They told planning board members that the facility would have a covered staging area for trucks to move waste in and out of the facility, with Battaglia adding that “everything would be done inside the building.”

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“We would screen all materials coming into the facility to ensure they are suitable (for processing),” he said.

The project is expected to result in the creation of eight full-time employees, with an average of fifteen trucks on site. Battaglia said the covered collection areas would help control potential dust and would be a “very simple” and “very clean” operation.

The developers also indicated that noise and traffic studies showed the facility would result in an “insignificant” increase in traffic and noise levels that were “significantly below” city ordinances.

“Everything that is transported will be transported back out at the end of the day,” Battaglia assured the Planning Board.

The waste facility is not completely ready yet.

The developers told planning board members that they are in the process of obtaining permits needed from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation before construction on the facility can move forward.

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