Skaneateles officials optimistic about release of Stauffer Chemical site

Skaneateles town officials are optimistic that the former Stauffer Chemical Company property will be released for development this year.

The status of the property was one item discussed by members of the town board at a Skaneateles Falls hamlet meeting held April 14.

The former Stauffer site has been closed for years by order of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation due to the presence of toxic materials that were dumped on the property and in nearby Skaneateles Creek.

Though the DEC can’t make a final determination until it gets the results of its latest round of soil testing, they have shared indications that the site will be released this soon, Supervisor Mary Sennett said.

“They have shut down the storm water treatment operation because they feel that the levels are such that they don’t need to run the water through the storm water treatment any longer. Many of the monitoring wells have actually been shut down as the results have been clean for long enough,” she said.

The property is owned by AstraZeneca, an international pharmaceutical manufacturer who owns Stauffer Chemical. Even if the property is sold, AstraZeneca will still be responsible for dealing with any future issues with toxic waste that may arise, Councilor Connie Brace said.

Sennett also said she spoke with a representative of Envirospec Engineering, the firm handling the cleanup on behalf of the owner. Envirospec plans to remove the storm water treatment equipment and demolish the building on the property this summer, she said.

Tim Davis, who lives across the street from the property, asked about the barbed wire fence saying that it was an eyesore and something that could prohibit other development in the hamlet.

Sennett said that the DEC has to follow its strict protocols, which likely means leaving the fence up until the property is cleared.

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