Friday November 11, 2005
Landfill operator offers to buy homes
Casella promises market value
to Chemung residents who want to sell.
BROOKE J. SHERMAN
November 11, 2005
Management rolled out its property protection plan to a crowded room of
concerned and questioning Chemung residents Thursday night.
The plan provides protection to
property owners who live within a three-fourths-of-a-mile radius of the
Chemung County landfill by giving the ownersfull-market value for their
homes if they decide to sell them, explained Tim Cretney, Casella
regional vice president.
But the more than 100 residents,
many of whom had already received letters about the plan and sign-up
process, had questions on the necessity of the plan and what Casella
would do with property it buys.
"I find it interesting that you
are protecting the land for us from you," said Dr. Earl Robinson, who
owns 380 acres within the designated radius.
Property owners who owned the land
before Sept. 19 when Casella took over the landfill must register with
Casella within 60 days of receiving the protection plan material if
they want to participate, Cretney said.
Registration does not necessarily
mean the property owners want to sell.
The plan would work something like
Landowners would notify
Casella of their intent to sell property within 30 days of making the
decision to sell.
They would coordinate with
Casella for a full-value appraisal of the property, which will be
conducted as though the landfill were not there and will be paid for by
At that time, Casella may
choose to buy the property for the full-value price. If not, the
property would be listed with a real estate agent for up to nine months.
If an offer is made that is
below the appraised value, it must be submitted to Casella, and if it
is accepted, Casella will make up the difference in the value.
If the property sells at or
above the appraised value, Casella will not pay anything toward the
Cretney said the company is
evaluating how to address property protection for the trailer park on
Roberts Hollow Road where residents own their mobile homes, but not the
Some residents thought the plan
was set up to encourage or even push them to move.
"The property protection plan is
there as an insurance," Cretney said.
In Ontario County where Casella
operates a much larger landfill, the company bought several pieces of
property contiguous to the landfill.
The company has restored a former
bed-and-breakfast on that land into office space and provides a home
directly across from the landfill for the site's general manager,
While the company can purchase the
property, Cretney said in most cases the land would be relisted and
Cretney said property owners are
not obligated to participate in the plan.
"If you've gotten a property
protection plan letter and want nothing to do with it, crinkle it up
and throw it in the fireplace," he said.
The meeting also addressed plans
to begin state Environmental Quality Review Act assessments on all the
projects being considered at the landfill and to increase its accepted
waste at the site from 120,000 tons a year to 280,000 tons.
"Each aspect of the the future
project will go through a full SEQRA process," said Larry Shilling,
Casella's landfill district manager.