COLONIE: Locals look at legal action

Because no one has come in and put a stop to it, it's time that residents take the city on, said Henner.

For years the village of Colonie, which shares its southern borders with Albany, and has been a fallout area for landfill odors, has been at odds with city and state environmental officials about getting something done. According to Save the Pine Bush, despite demands, the DEC has not come out to take air samples in the village and other hotbeds of citizen complaints.

The hundreds of people attending the meeting have opted to side with Save the Pine Bush to take action.

"I have written letters to Gov. (Eliot) Spitzer, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, and (Assemblyman) Bob Reilly asking for their help. We need help from the top down," said village Mayor Frank Leak.

Communication with Albany usually stops at the "stink will go away," Leak said. It's time to get something moving that will remedy the situation, he added, to the applause of the audience.

The village does not contract with the city to dispose of its waste.

The village retained a law firm of its own to take on proposed expansions of the landfill that would take it into village lands. Now in its third proposal, the city's second proposal in January 2006 was to take 60 acres of village lands and areas promised by the city to be added to the preserve. Although the city has rescinded the proposal to move onto village land, it's most recent proposal borders the village, said Henry DeCottis assistant village attorney.

Because of the way the landfill currently operates, the village cannot stand and watch as the landfill increases in size toward its boundaries, DeCottis said.

Although only a handful of people at the meeting initially stated they would sign on for a suit against the city, expanding the landfill into sensitive areas closer to the village is something no one wants, said Sharon Rapp.

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