WEST SENECA, NY – Neighbors opposing a plan by a construction company to conduct a sporadic concrete crushing operation, are expected to pack a meeting of the town’s planning board when the matter comes up for discussion Thursday night.
Oakgrove Construction seeks to crush concrete on a portion of a 21-acre parcel it owns on Mineral Spring Road, which sits in a mostly industrial area of the town.
However, cries of opposition are being raised by residents of Buffalo’s Kaisertown neighborhood, which sits north of the site, with an expanse of woods and the Buffalo River in between.
Kaisertown in an area within the Lovejoy District, represented by Buffalo Common Council member Richard Fontana.
“It’s really gonna effect the quality of life in this neighborhood, and that’s why we’re asking our neighbors in West Seneca to be a good neighbor, and to deny this destructive use so close to the border,” Fontana told WGRZ-TV.
Oakgrove Construction President Douglas May suggests the myriad of concerns being raised by neighbors might be allayed, if they carefully read his application submitted to the town.
For instance, a flyer being distributed by opponents claims their properties will be devalued because “no one will buy a home near a concrete crushing facility.”
According to Oakgrove’s application, however, “no construction is needed to accommodate the proposed activity.”
May explained that is because the concrete crusher is a portable machine, only to be rolled in when needed.
He also noted that while the flyer expresses grave concern over constant exposure to concrete dust laden with toxins which cause lung disease, Oakgrove, per its application, only plans to conduct “three separate 4-5 day crushing events on an annual basis” – meaning they would only crush concrete for approximately three weeks in an entire year.
“As far as potential pollution, we’re getting permitted through the DEC, and we’ll comply with all their requirements for dust control,” May said.
Further, while the flyer suggests that Oakgrove proposes to operate “24 hours a day” creating the potential for sleep deprivation from lights and noise, the firm’s application states that crushing will be conducted “between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays” for the approximately 15 days per year it proposes to operate.
Fontana, who plans to attend the meeting in West Seneca, is not convinced insisting; “Once they get the zoning change, they have carte blanche to do whatever they want, and they are going to do whatever they want and if it’s under 80 tons per day the DEC doesn’t even come into play.”
May seemed somewhat surprised about all the opposition, claiming Oakgrove has crushed concrete on the site several times over the past 15 years, and never heard a complaint, suggesting to him that neighbors being unaware of that, is an indication that the operation is not as invasive as they fear.