County Waste concerns extend beyond Colonie

While Roth called for action on the issue, Supervisor Phil Barrett defended the operation saying, "They're making tremendous progress."

Barrett said odors subsided for a bit through the month of June but have resurfaced in the past few weeks, according to residents of Hidden Crest, who regularly report to the Town Council.

Roth said he would continue to raise the issue at the Town Council until the odors dissipate.

After hearing allegations that County Waste was engaged in illegal dumping practices, Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan addressed the media Thursday, July 17, at Memorial Town Hall to discuss findings of the alleged $15 million fraud.

County Waste is accused of dumping excess waste at the landfill that was not paid for, as well as creating false documentation for weight slips.

Mahan began her address by stating that before these allegations were even released to the public, she had heard similar concerns and had called for an audit of the landfill.

She said that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's investigation was not in any way affiliated with the audit, but that it was being conducted to "look at everything" going back to the beginning of 2007, including how much space was still available in the landfill.

"I have to wait for the results like everyone else," she said. "I will demand accountability."

Regarding receiving a "refund" from County Waste for the total alleged fraud amount of $15 million " nearly 83 percent of Colonie's deficit of $18 million " the supervisor said, "A refund is something that we can't even look at at this time."

Mahan told those assembled July 17 that a comprehensive audit of the landfill was originally launched to confirm her "worst suspicions." These suspicions, she said, included the misuse of the facility, including excess dumping.

Mahan said that she would not interfere with Cuomo's office's audit in terms of getting results sooner because it is a criminal investigation, but that the town would agree to cooperate with the attorney general's office.

Ariana Cohn contributed to this story.""

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