Aug 04, 2010 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
Camillus does not have to wait until the next Wastebed 13 open house with the DEC to be heard — thanks to Mark Tracy, resident of Golden Meadows and research engineer at Lockheed Martin.
Tracy came to the July 27 town board meeting after talking with the DEC about the project’s safety measures.
“I just wanted to alert the board to a potential issue, I think, with the air quality monitoring program with Wastebed 13 and ask for your help,” he said.
Tracy talked with Tim Larsons, the project manager from the DEC, and Bob Edwards and discovered that the level to which the site’s air will be monitored now, before construction starts, is 1,000 times less sensitive than mandated by the EPA’s Human Health Risk Assessment.
From their discussion, Tracy found that the monitoring was being done for community safety and not just onsite worker safety.
Tracy reported saying to Larsons, “If [the air sensors are] for community safety then you would admit that if you’re testing for volatile organic compounds there’s a possibility of that?”
Larsons said no to this question but could not guarantee the construction over the next two years would not elevate volatile organic compounds at a level of one-to-two parts per billion.
Tracy was concerned that without proper testing equipment in place now, the public might be led to believe that high levels of chemicals — if found during or after the construction of the sediment consolidation area — had been there all along.
“I think there is a huge liability from a community standpoint here if we don’t push back now and ask them to do an accurate [baseline test], now before they start any activity up there,” Tracy said.
Based on Tracy’s comments to the board, the DEC’s current plan appears to be an attempt to appeal to the community’s demand for air quality monitoring. Whether the DEC is using the proper equipment is up for question.
“Is there a significant difference in cost to change the levels?” asked councilor Mark Kolinski.
“Yeah, and that’s part of the problem and why they’re doing this,” Tracy said. “These sensors are real cheap, but they’re inaccurate. They do have established procedures, the EPA and DEC, to do high quality, highly accurate air quality monitoring. It requires 24-hour collection in a glass line bottle and sending it to a lab. It’s a little more expensive than putting a sensor up there. But, to me, I would think that from a community standpoint we should know that information.”
Supervisor Mary Ann Coogan said the board would make sure to notify project engineers of his concerns.
Pipe Organ builder heard
The board held a public hearing to consider making the necessary adjustments for three residentially zoned buildings to be reclassified as a limited business office district. Tomasz Lewtak, a resident of Camillus for 13 years, wished to buy the buildings — a church, parish hall, and two houses — from Father Greg of St. Joseph’s Church.
He plans to use the space for his craft — pipe organ building.
“What is involved in building pipe organs? It’s basically a very fancy wood shop with emphasis on — it’s a low output woodshop, very high quality. It takes about a year and a half to building one instrument,” Lewtak said.
“It’s mostly fine work, slow work, quiet, this is not a typical commercial woodshop if you think of a woodshop in terms of producing cabinetry.”
Councilor Mark Kolinski said the few residents who expressed interest in speaking against the zone change were not able to attend the hearing. They had requested the hearing be held for August.
Councilor David Philippone noted that the property, as home to a not-for-profit organization, was not generating tax revenue for Camillus.
“One of the benefits to us as a municipality in the event we allow this to go forward is to bring a substantial parcel back onto the tax rolls,” Philippone said.
He noted that the zoning board scheduled a public hearing for the change as well, so this would not be the last time the public had a chance to comment.
The board approved the necessary changes under the condition that Lewtak purchase the properties from Father Greg.
Mark Clements of 106 MacKay Ave came to the board to report damaging storm runoff at his home.
“Every rainfall since the first part of June, I cross my fingers to not have two or three inches of water in my basement,” Clements said.
“It’s just gushing down my driveway and further damaging my garage, filling my backyard up with water,” he added. “And my basement now, every time it rains, it’s got black mold on it.”
Clements said the excess runoff is due in part to a flood prevention berm installed in front of his neighbor’s house.
“All the water from Genesee Street and HSBC bank is rolling past the berm that the town put in the first part of June into my front yard,” he said. Clements had spoken to councilor Bill Davern.
“Bill came over within 24 hours” and agreed that the flooding was unacceptable, Clements said.
Town engineer Paul Czerwinski had recently gone to Clements’ property with Highway Superintendent Mark Pigula.
“We identified two problems,” he said. ” One was with the HSBC bank. There’s a storm drainage inlet on their property that’s supposed to take the majority of the runoff from their site. It appears that that’s obstructed. Mark was going to speak with them about getting that cleaned up, so hopefully that would reduce the amount of water that was coming off the bank site.
“The other problem is that it appears the road itself has lost a little bit of its crown, so the water that’s running off on the west side of the road is actually crossing over the center line and running towards his property,” Czerwinski said.
To his knowledge, Pigula had not yet committed to a schedule for making the necessary improvements to the street. Councilor David Philippone noted that Pigula had told him the road was going to be fixed.
Clements requested immediate assistance. “At least put a berm in there and try to help cover some of the expenses,” he said.
Supervisor Mary Ann Coogan said the board would meet with Pigula to resolve what exactly would be done to prevent flooding at Clements’ property.