NIAGARA FALLS, NY - It turns out the City of Niagara Falls will not be able to clean up an illegal dump site on time — a dump that the city contributed to for years.
Last year, the city was caught operating the site and ordered to stop by the state DEC. Since then, the city has been in the process of removing debris, but has missed the deadline to fully cleanup the site and now the city is asking the state for an extension.
City DPW crews for years had been using land on New Road and Porter in the Falls, to dump street sweeper dirt, and tree limbs on top of garbage that other people were dumping here, making this place pretty gross.
One pile of street sweeper dirt was as high as 18 feet at one point. While the city was dumping waste here, people engaged in illegal dumping over the years, which included furniture, electronic devices like TV's and a lot of that can be hazardous to the environment.
When the state learned about the dump, the city was fined $10,000.
According to invoices 2 On Your Side has obtained, Niagara Falls, which is financially challenged, has spent tens of thousands of dollars in cleanup.
REPORTER: Are these are funds that could've gone somewhere else?
"Absolutely, you definitely didn't want to spend this money, but it was something that was left to us over years and years," said Niagara Falls council member Kenny Tompkins.
The DEC says much of the waste has been taken to a landfill in Lewiston, but that there are still tree limbs and leaves that need to be removed. The city's deadline for informing the state the dump was cleaned up, was July 31st. That of course is one day overdue.
2 On Your Side's Jeff Preval reached out to Mayor Paul Dyster's office numerous times Tuesday for an interview and to know why they missed the deadline. A spokesperson for his office declined an interview and would not give a specific reason for missing the deadline. And we've learned that the city has requested an extension to pick up whatever is left here. The DEC says that it will meet with Falls officials sometime this month, to discuss a new schedule for cleaning up.