Penfield residents accuse town of sneaking in brush dump under neighbors’ noses

Penfield residents accuse town of sneaking in brush dump under neighbors’ noses

The day's major News events, business reports, sports updates, Rochester area weather information and tomorrow's forecast are presented by the News10NBC Team.

PENFIELD, N.Y. — Construction plans in Penfield have neighbors accusing the town of lying by omission. The Town of Penfield is planning on building a temporary dump for yard trimmings, branches, and other brush on a residential street.

It’s only supposed to be in effect while the town works on its new Department of Public Works, but with just three weeks until construction, residents are only just finding out now.

“We haven’t had a flyer a notice a sign up we’ve had no ability to participate in the conversation with the town,” Joe Cassera said. “And that’s a pretty frustrating experience and the neighbors are all scrambling having just learned about this over Easter weekend.”

Cassera and many other neighbors live on Kennedy Road. It’s a small street where people walk their dogs and ride their bikes right in the middle of the road. Two cars can’t comfortable pass each other at the same time. But six days a week, the town expects cars and trucks to pull into the site.

“What I’m worried about if a cars coming down and the trucks are coming – it could be dangerous for people,” neighbor Jeff Alger said. He moved here years ago with his family. 

“We fell in love with the area. One reason we picked this road was because it was agricultural and it was beautiful,” Alger said. On top of traffic, he’s got environmental concerns too. 

“What’s in those trees?” he said. “Is there going to be pesticides sprayed and so on, there’s kids in the neighborhood that live right here.”

While neighbors have been calling for the past several days, they said they’ve been getting the runaround from whoever picks up the phone. 

“The frustration is that the county points at the town and then town says its county property, and its just everybody pointing fingers at each other,” Rich Bierma said. 

​”There’s a lot of ‘he said she said’ in this process and not a lot of detail for a plan that’s supposed to take place in less than a month,” Dan Koonman said. 

Neighbors are holding a meeting Wednesday night to let others in the area know. Saturday, they’ve asked for both the town and county to send a representative to the homeowners association meeting.

Here’s a statement from Eric Tait, Director of Public Works:

“Operations at the proposed site on Kennedy Road would mirror current brush drop-off operations at Penfield DPW. This is not an expansion of services; instead, it is a relocation of the services through an Intermunicipal Agreement (IMA) between the County and Town. On a typical day, brush drop-off would be expected to generate approximately 10-15 vehicle trips. Limited equipment would be located on site, and the Town would ensure all rules and regulations are strictly followed.”

“The proposed project has been reviewed by the County and the Town, including the Town serving as lead agency for the environmental review required under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The proposed IMA and the environmental review were discussed at several Town Board meetings and the project was determined to have no adverse environmental impacts and will conform with all applicable permitting and environmental regulations.”

“On Tuesday, April 9, the Monroe County Legislature will vote on the IMA. The term of the agreement “will be two (2) years from the date of execution, with the option of two (2) two-year renewals.” The Penfield Town Board will vote the following night, Wednesday, April 10, on the same agreement. We will continue working closely with area residents to address their concerns as the layout of the project site is finalized.”