Proposed funeral home causes controversy

— “I kind of find it hard to believe that this will have minimal traffic impact,” Murray said. “It keeps adding up, little by little. We’re still concerned. It’s going to increase the traffic flow on our streets. Even though DOT says it’s okay, I beg to differ. It’s a valid concern.”

Murray wasn’t the only neighbor to express concerns about traffic. At least half a dozen others said they were concerned about the backup of cars along Buckley Road.

Michael Cosnick of Briarledge Road expressed concerns about the ability of emergency vehicles to get through a traffic backup.

“There are two or three senior citizens’ homes in the area,” Cosnick said. “Has the traffic study taken into account the response times of... emergency vehicles? For instance, in the event of a heart attack, everybody’s heard the commercials. It’s not minutes, it’s seconds. In the event of a backup, you could be dealing with people not making it because of the extra time.”

Attorney Robert Ventre, who represents Farone and Sons, said that the traffic created by the funeral home would not be enough to deny the zone change request.

“You have just put more commercial property on the border of the town of Salina than can possibly be put on the remainder of Buckley Road,” Ventre told the board. “That’s traffic, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You didn’t make a mistake; you did the right thing.”

Ventre noted that there was still development in the works further down Buckley Road in Salina, pointing out that the Salina Meadows project was still unfinished.

“What will change traffic is when traffic gets too much and people are slowed down, people will take Morgan Road,” he said. “They won’t come all the way down to Seventh North Street. You’ve been putting traffic on Buckley Road for years. This isn’t going to change anything. You can’t stop progress because the road can’t handle it.”

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