Equate still dominates Wheatfield meetingsby jmaloni
by Susan Mikula Campbell
Although Wheatfield's proposed ban on equate is not ready for a vote, anti-Quasar activists continue to make sure the Town Board doesn't forget their stance.
A large portion of Monday's regular Town Board meeting was again devoted to the potential problems of using biosolids as fertilizer on farm fields.
Supervisor Bob Cliffe told the board and residents that the proposed ban is still being worked on by attorneys. The ban would affect the use of equate as fertilizer here as well as any expansion of Quasar's existing anaerobic digestion facility on Liberty Drive.
Various speakers mentioned that they didn't trust state and federal environmental agencies to have their best interests at heart. They talked about their Internet research that showed use of processed human waste harming people in other states.
The public discussion got especially testy when Quasar's local representative, Nate Carr, was questioned by anti-Quasar activist John Wozniak.
Carr said when it comes to some of the Internet accounts from other states, it's all anecdotal and not substantiated. He said Quasar feels in coming to Western New York, it "can build trust from doing the right thing day in and day out."
"You're all spin. You don't know what you're talking about," Wozniak insisted.
Speakers also included two women from Pendleton who encouraged the board to keep researching, because use of biosolids as fertilizer "is not going to benefit anyone in any of our towns."
Wheatfield resident and anti-Quasar activist Helene Petrakis said residents are more aware of the potential problems of biosolids and keeping watch in their neighborhoods. Phone lines lit up recently when a farm on Shawnee Road started spraying. It turned out to be regular fertilizer, not equate. "Concerned citizens are keeping the vigil," she said.
In other matters:
•The town plans to join the ad hoc advisory committee being formed with representatives from county municipalities to consider exploring an insurance cooperative. The municipalities will provide information to a consultant who will determine whether or not it is in their best interests to join a health care benefits consortium to reduce insurance costs.
•The town seems to have solved one problem with biosolids. Comments were made about how Fairmount Park didn't have the usual amount of droppings left by Canada geese at last weekend's fishing derby. The town apparently hired a man who brought his border collie on a regular basis to chase the geese away.
•Paul Siegmann, longtime town employee and resident, was approved as deputy superintendent of highways, effective June 24.
•The town agreed to accept maintenance responsibility for the traffic light being installed by the county at the intersection of Lockport and Walmore roads.
•A request from Sean Schott to install a pond on his property, located on Hunt Street in Bergholz was approved after a public hearing.
•Justin Higner, a member of the town's Veterans Memorial Committee, reported that plans for the new memorial at Fairmount Park are progressing well. Anyone interested in assisting should come to a committee meeting, usually held at 7 p.m. the first Thursday of the month at the Wheatfield Community Center, or check the town's website.
•The next regular Town Board meeting will be 7:30 p.m. July 14.