I was a bit surprised to read in the Tuesday’s Democrat the plan floated by some members on the Solid Waste Task Force (i.e. Kathy Labuda, Ira Cohen, Sam Yasgur and others) to revisit the proposed expansion of the Sullivan County Landfill.
For the past several years, the County has been working diligently to see through the redevelopment of the Apollo Plaza site and to help EPR to get their proposed Destination Resort moving forward.
While it may seem that little has been accomplished in this pursuit, many important steps to make these projects feasible are now completed or well underway.
We have seen the completion and opening of the new Exit 106 Interchange. Also, the County secured title to the Apollo Plaza and there’s been approval by the Village of Monticello for the rezoning of the Apollo Site. The Town Board approvals of EPR Concord’s Environmental Review and Site Plan have also been granted.
Clearly, the opening of an active landfill near these proposed developments would be counter-productive to the public-private partnerships that are well underway at the Concord Site and Apollo Plaza.
Even consideration of expansion of the landfill is a very bad idea in 2013. I would like to be on the record as opposing any proposal to revisit the Phase II Expansion of the landfill.
Instead, the County needs to look to the EPR Concord Development and redevelopment of the Apollo Plaza as being catalyst for meaningful change in our local economy. And expanding the landfill on the gateway of these developments would be a disaster.
We need to stop looking backward and start looking ahead to a brighter future.
We need to promote public-private partnerships that will not only create jobs in our local economy, but also help to fund meaningful improvements to our park system and tourism infrastructure that will ultimately benefit all county residents, These partnerships will enhance the visitor experience to those who come the destination resorts in our community.
Much work lies ahead as strive to improve the County’s economy, but if we stay focused and stop reverting back to past mistakes, the future ahead will be fulfilling.