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Town Vows to Fight Potential City Compost Project

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Promising the quote “most stringent review possible” the Cortlandville Town Board passed a resolution Wednesday night, opposing plans for a potential City of Cortland compost operation on city property on Saunders Road in the town.

Neighbors of the potential site such as Chris Bushnell filled the Terrace Road board room claiming the project will hurt property values.

“The large concern here is the Governor has these “green” initiatives, and the green initiatives may or may not have to comply with certain codes,” said Bushnell.

Deputy Supervisor Ted Testa said the town felt blindsided, learning about the city’s request for state grand funding through newspaper reports. Bushnell appreciated that board member John Folmer was prepared with a resolution (non-binding) that expressed the town’s opposition.

“All the Council people voted unanimously against this project,” said Bushnell. “That’s why we have them as our council people. They look out for our best interests.”

Reached minutes following the town meeting, Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin says the city has tried before to earn this grant.

“There’s nothing tangible until we figure out if there is a funding source, and this is not the first time that we’ve put in for this grant,” said Mayor Tobin. “We’ve been unsuccessful to this point. We needed to designate a spot and since the city owns that property we thought this would work as a placeholder for the application.”

He added if the grant for the project is approved, the city will reach out to neighbors and the town as necessary.

“We’re not doing anything until we receive the grant funding, so at this point, there’s really not much to discuss.”

The composting project mixes food waste and sludge and worms turn it into a commercial product for use in the garden.

Mayor Tobin reiterated: “Until there’s a tangible reward regarding the grant, we’re not progressing any father. Any other conversations at this point are just a little bit ahead of the game.”

Also before the Cortlandville Board:

  • Cortlandville took the next step in designing Gutchess Park on Rt 13 at Gracie Road, preparing drawings to use next summer when the town is expected to apply for grants for the planned sports complex.
  • The Board approved six LED exterior lights on the Raymond G. Thorpe Municipal Building, at a cost of $4,519.60. The supervisor said the lighting will cover “blind spots” all four corners of the building.
  • The NYS DOT again denied a town request on behalf of residents to lower the speed limit on the south end of Cosmos Hill Road from its current 40 mph. The supervisor told the board that State Senator Jim Seward joined them at a meeting with the DOT to appeal the decision. Seward promised to share his concerns with DOT managers.
  • The Luker Road and Oswego Street/Route 215 water project is nearly complete. Still to be finished is the cosmetic restoration of the sites (dirt and driveways).

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