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Schumer seeks public works initiatives

All that waste would be returned upstate, taken out of the waste stream, Cross said, and run through a digester that would turn the waste into premium composting material.

"I think it's economically feasible," Cross said.

Schumer called the idea "brilliant" and "ahead of the curve." He said he was impressed with the public-private partnership concept that led to the facility's realization.

"So the cost to taxpayers is nothing, and they are actually going to get money back from selling the energy to the utility?" Schumer said. "This is so smart. How long did it take to get this done?"

"Ten years," Zecca said. "It was a frustrating process, and I have to credit the supervisors. A lot of them could have given up, but they stuck with it."

Madison County Board of Supervisors Chairman John M. Becker said the park's success hinges partly on the ability to bring water and sewers from the city of Oneida, a distance of about three miles, to support the activities proposed for the ARE Park. He said that is where the county needs funding help.

Schumer said he would do what he can to help make the project a reality.

Becker said the project would benefit the entire state by putting electricity into the grid, taking waste out of the disposal stream and turning biodegradables into another usable product.

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