The Town of Plattekill took the first step to dispose of six mysterious barrels that have been sitting at the town’s transfer station for at least eight years by hiring a firm to analyze the contents.
Town Councilman Dean DePew Sr. brought the issue to the attention of the Town Board at its July 20 meeting.
DePew said he became aware this spring that the company that previously ran the transfer station had left the barrels behind. He thought the barrels may have been there since 2014 or even longer.
Since the town now operates the transfer station, DePew said it’s the town’s responsibility to dispose of them. But since it’s unclear what is inside the barrels, DePew presented the board with three bids from firms that dispose of waste.
The board voted 4-0 to approve the low bid from Clear Waters Environmental Services of Newburgh to determine the barrels’ contents.
Once the contents of the barrels are analyzed, then it will be determined how to dispose of them, DePew said.
Councilman Bill Kras asked DePew to assess the condition of the barrels.
“They’re in poor shape,” DePew said. “They’ve been there a very long time. I’m going to say they’ve been there at least since 2014. We’ve got to get rid of them.”
Following the meeting, DePew told the Southern Ulster Times that the unidentified private firm that formerly ran the transfer station left a lot of items behind when the town took over the operation.
“We were shuffling around the equipment that was up there,” DePew said. “I didn’t know anything about the barrels until after we auctioned off some of the remaining items we had. We had a compactor, a bailer that was for bailing cardboard and a trailer that was auctioned off. Those barrels remained there.”
DePew estimated that the town took over the transfer station in 2010 or 2011.
“They’ve done a great job up there,” DePew said. “After discovering it (unidentified barrels), we just have to go through the process of getting rid of them.”
In other news, the board unanimously approved a resolution to apply for a $30,000 grant from the New York Department of State to start the second phase of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.
The town will kick in $3,000 to fund the $30,000 project if its Smart Growth Application is successful. Barton & Loguidice, an Albany-based consulting firm, will file the application for the town.
The first phase of the town’s Comprehensive Plan Update was completed in 2019. A draft report prepared by Barton & Loguidice and funded by the Hudson River Valley Greenway was presented to the Town Board in August 2019.
Progress on the second phase of the comprehensive plan was slowed by the pandemic, according to Supervisor Jennifer Salemo.
The Town of Plattekill last updated its Comprehensive Plan 19 years ago.
Salemo is optimistic that the grant will be approved so the town can move ahead with the second phase of the plan.
“We need to do something,” she said. “It’s time. It’s a good plan and we missed our opportunity (for funding) last year because of the whole COVID thing. Now that COVID has slowed we can move forward with new projects.”
The town’s Comprehensive Plan Phase 1 Committee was comprised for former Supervisor Joseph Croce, Committee Chair Cindy Hilbert, Michael Baum, Derrick Doubrava, Cindy Delgado, Brian Vanduser and Joseph Lafriandra.
The town has the option of appointing a new committee for the second phase, according to Barton & Loguidice consultant Dan Theobald.
DePew said he would favor keeping past members, but the board should have the option of adding new members.
“New ideas are always great,” he said. “And we have a good base from the past committee that did a lot of good work, too. I’m looking forward to the committee moving forward if we get the grant.”