by Susan Mikula Campbell
The Ohio-based Quasar Energy Group and its energy from waste facility on Liberty Drive in Wheatfield was still making news at the Wheatfield Town Board meeting on Monday.
Supervisor Bob Cliffe reported that he and Councilman Art Gerbec are planning a trip to Ohio to tour the already established anaerobic digestion facilities there. They plan to bring a member of the Wheatfield Planning Board and a local farmer on the trip.
The Liberty Drive facility already is built and Quasar is looking for nearby farmland to establish storage ponds for equate, the nitrogen-rich byproduct of the digestion process that the company promotes as an organic alternative to chemical fertilizers for farmers.
Local resident Sam Cirrito said he recently visited the Liberty Drive facility and was amazed at the size of the digestion building. He said a foreman had just finished pumping organic material and he did notice an odor. Cirrito also was concerned about heavy trucks damaging roadways on their way to and from the facility although the foreman told him only established truck routes would be used.
In other matters:
•Highway Superintendent Art Kroening reminded residents not to put fall leaves in the roadway as that creates a hazard. Leaves should be piled on the curb or grass. His department will be using two trucks for collection this year, so piles of leaves shouldn't be there long enough to damage lawns, he said.
•Building Inspector Mike Klock reported that a vacant residence on Reynolds Drive that has been causing concerns among nearby residents has been searched and checked on a warrant and will be enclosed. The building is still sound, he said, adding that the county is expected to take possession of it by Oct. 1 and include it in its next auction. Currently, there are 40 vacant houses in the town.
•Assessor Bridgette Grawe reminded residents who receive basic STAR school tax relief that when they apply with the state to renew under new regulations to be sure to keep their confirmation number because the town will no longer be handling these accounts. Senior citizens who receive the enhanced STAR still reapply each year with her office, she said.
•The board approved a motion to purchase a 2009 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car for $8,000, plus trade in, from Lockport Auto Store to be used by town constables. The department currently has three cars, two dating from 2001 and one from 2005. One of the three will be used for the trade in, one will be sold and the third will be kept, reducing the department to a total of two cars.
The board also approved an automated external defibrillator policy for the constables, requiring all constables be trained in CPR and AED use, and that the AED be carried in patrol cars so if constables are first on the scene, they can start life-saving measures until professional help arrives.
•The board approved the hiring of Donald Basile as boys basketball coach and Chris Crangle as girls basketball coach for the town's instructional, non-competitive basketball program.
•The next Town Board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 23.