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COLONIE: Town defends debris use

There's more to it than that, town officials contend.

The deal to dump the 2,000 cubic yards of rubble was sweetened with the offer to grade and replace an existing driveway and parking lot in order to get the club's trustees, who were wary of the project, to agree, said town board and club member Ulderic "UB" Boisvert.

It also helped to get rid of stockpiles of debris left over from past road repair jobs, he said.

"They were very apprehensive, and they asked, 'Why would we want to do that?'" said Boisvert, who is the town's liaison to the Highway Department. "I explained to them that they would be doing the town a favor. The town of Colonie has done nothing wrong here. The only thing we've done is save money."

The town's Highway Department drafted a scope of the work to be done after the club signed off on a general release form, as all residents requesting fill are required to do. According to the document, the town was left with 1,334 cubic yards of debris after construction and cleanup was done is response to damage by heavy rains between April 14 and 18. The town requested Federal Emergency Management Agency money to "rid" the highway department yard of the large pile. It was given $25,879 to move the soil to the town landfill. However, the town was forced to sit on the pile, which grew to 2,000 cubic yards, after learning the soil would not be used as cover material for the landfill. Instead, the department would have to pay to dump the debris on site at $51 per ton.

It has been reported that the town would not have to pay one of its own departments to dump on its own property. That is entirely misinformed, said Joe Stockbridge, director of the town's environmental services and its landfill.

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