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Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County, Inc.

CID Fails to Woo Allen Town Board

In 1996 CID proposed siting a 200-acre landfill to the Town Board in the Town of Allen (Allegany Co.). CID currently owns and operates a private landfill in the town of Sardinia (Wyoming Co.) and has recently proposed  a new landfill in Eagle (Wyoming Co.).

CID first optioned about 450 acres in Allen, then offered to pay up to $30,000 for legal counsel for the Town Board to review the proposal--but CID picked the outside attorney for the job. By a 3-2 vote the Town  Board accepted the offer in September of 1996. This began a year-long local debate that divided the town and led to the formation of the local concerned citizens group Citizens Concerned for All Townships (CCAT).

CID wanted the Town of Allen to rescind its local ban on landfills in the Town. At least one local property owner, Chuck Barnes, was actively encouraging the landfill proposal: he had offered to sell his land a few years earlier to New York State for a low-level nuclear waste dump, and now he did the same thing with CID. In addition, three Town Board members, including the Town  Supervisor, were also aggressively courting CID. At the time of the September, 1996 vote Supervisor Bob Hopkins told the Olean Times Herald the three pro-dump board members planned to bring in a landfill and push through the vote "quickly and easily."

However, one year later CCAT rallied Allen residents to support their landfill ban law. Not only was CID's proposal defeated  but CCAT's chairperson Ed Eicher was elected to the Town Board, whose majority is currently opposed to any tampering with the landfill ban law. See the 1997 story in our newsletter.

Nevertheless, in May of 1999 there was renewed talk of a landfill proposal. Dick Vanderwalker, who ramrodded the Hyland dump proposal through as a member of the Angelica Town Board, recently moved from Angelica to Allen and is rumored to have one eye on the November, 1999 Allen Town Board elections. He's got his other eye on garbage money.

Last year CID was purchased by Waste Management, itself a subsidiary of the world's largest garbage company, USA Waste.