Dumping rampant, hearing tabled

SHERIDAN — Along Airport, Newell and Cook roads, dumping seems to have become a sort of sport for some local litterbugs. The sight of litter isn’t that uncommon along any road, but the frequency of dumping and sheer size of some appliances being tossed out is starting to become more than just an eyesore.

“We are having tremendous amounts of dumping again on Newell, Airport and Cook roads,” Highway Superintendent Jeffrey Feinen said at the Sheridan Town Board meeting Wednesday. “We’ve been getting pounded with dumping. Chairs, couches, tires, microwaves, you name it, we find it.”

Many of these large appliances aren’t just dumped in the field, but on Airport Road itself, often jutting into the right lane. One local mail carrier, who wishes to remain anonymous, reportedly observed an entire living room set abandoned on the side of the road just a few weeks prior.

Some individuals have been caught, according to Feinen, but the dumping problem still persists. For anyone still dumping, Feinen closed out his comments with the following warning: “If anyone is caught dumping, we will prosecute them.”

At the same meeting, Building Inspector James Crowell also provided an update on a building permit application for a proposed solar power project. “I have received a building permit application for a solar power plant development project, called Silver Creek Solar,” Crowell said of the project. “The location is on Chapin Road.”

Crowell went on to say that the impact to the community was measured to be minimal enough to consider holding the public hearing for the project. “They (Silver Creek Solar) are requesting that they have a public hearing at our May meeting,” Crowell noted. “They’ve had their State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) since the end of March and it was found that it has little or no negative impact on the community, so what they call it is a negative determination of significance.”

Supervisor John Walker then commented that the SEQR determination seemed solid, though there was still some issue with the zoning laws. “I couldn’t see that there was anything different from what the county saw,” Walker said of the SEQR determination. “If they still have two parcels, then it would be non-conforming with our zoning, correct?”

In response to Walker’s question, Crowell confirmed that it would need to meet their zoning specifications, on top of the appropriate notifications to hold a public hearing. “That’s true, the whole project needs to be on one parcel of land,” Crowell stated. “In order to hold the meeting next month, we need to get the notices out early next week. Either they’re in compliance by then, or they’re not. Everything else does seem to be in order.”

Ultimately, the board decided to table the public hearing until Silver Creek Solar addresses the zoning concerns. “Archaeological (survey) took awhile to get their hands on…I would say that they need to do their homework, you seem to be doing yours very well,” Walker said, in reference to Crowell. “We’re not trying to stall them, we’re trying to make sure they’re in compliance.”

The next regular meeting of the Sheridan Town Board will be Wednesday, May 8 at 7 p.m. and there will be a workshop on April 24, time yet to be determined.