News

Welcome Back, Fisher!

We have had reports of a Fisher in the area. The Fisher is a small mustelid (a member of the weasel family) about the size of a large cat and has been seen in the area before. They are relatively rare animals and prefer to avoid humans but are seen from time-to-time near wooded areas.

Included below is a link to the Wikipedia entry for Fishers. They represent another example of the wonderfully diverse biological area in which we are fortunate enough to reside. If you happen to see a Fisher and are lucky enough to get a picture, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll post it on-line.

Fishers on Wikipedia

Senator Helming Visits

On Wednesday, October 2, Senator Pam Helming (R-54th District) visited the Town Offices in Willard to take a tour and discuss thoughts about attracting residents and visitors to the hamlet. She met with Sue Ellen Balluff, Tom Bouchard, and Bill Karlsen of the Planning Board, and Joe Brodnicki and Mike Joslyn of the Town Board.

Although her time was very limited she had the opportunity to take a brief tour of the hamlet including Hadley Hall on the Willard grounds. She was impressed by the potential opportunities for the area.

During her tenure, Senator Helming has been very involved and supportive of the Town of Romulus as well as all of the towns and villages in Seneca County.

(left to right) Bill Karlsen, Mike Joslyn, Pam Helming, Tom Bouchard, Joe Brodnicki, Sue Ellen Balluff
(left to right) Bill Karlsen, Mike Joslyn, Pam Helming, Tom Bouchard, Joe Brodnicki, Sue Ellen Balluff

August 21 Romulus Town Board Meeting

The August 21st meeting of the Romulus Town Board featured two public hearings as well as normal meeting activities. During the first public hearing concerning the request by Seneca Dairy Systems to rezone a portion of the former Seneca Army Depot, attorneys for Seneca Dairy presented additional details regarding the area in question. A number of the people present spoke in favor of the request although there are still some concerns about the details or lack thereof for the second and third phases of the project.

The second public hearing was to invite comment on the proposal to allow non-Romulus-residents to serve in the position of Zoning Enforcement Officer for the Town. The current ZEO has moved from the area and is resigning his position. Attempts have been made, including advertising, to find a resident to fill the position with no interest expressed. There were no objections and later in the evening a resolution was approved to create a local law to allow the variance to New York State laws. An additional resolution was passed to accept the application of Tim Dorn who is currently serving as the Town of Varick ZEO. As both positions are essentially part-time, Mr. Dorn will serve as ZEO for both municipalities.

Proposed Zoning Changes for Seneca Dairy Project Under Review

The proposed re-zoning for the Seneca Dairy Systems, LLC manufacturing project has been forwarded to the Town of Romulus Planning Board and the Seneca County Planning Board for review. The three phase project (phase one of which is a galvanizing plant) to build a new manufacturing facility on a portion of the former Seneca Army Depot will require a change to existing zoning at the location of the proposed plant.

Kim Nason of the Phillips Lytle law firm representing Seneca Dairy as well as Earl Martin principal owner of the LLC were present at the July 25 Town Board meeting to present the request. The proposed zoning change is only one of the tasks that are required before the project can go forward. Concurrently, a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) has been filed and is under review. The Seneca County IDA acting as the lead agency for the SEQR process is coordinating that submission and review.

A public hearing concerning the proposed zoning change has been scheduled for August 21, 2019 at 7:00PM at the Romulus Town Hall. The public will be able to ask questions and make comments about the proposed change.

Seneca County IDA Sponsors Public Information Session for Seneca Dairy Systems Proposal

The Seneca County IDA, acting as the lead agency in handling compliance with the State Environmental Quality Review Act for the Seneca Dairy Systems LLC proposed galvanizing plant on the former Seneca Army Deport property, has scheduled a public information session for Wednesday, July 24 at 6:00 PM at the Town of Romulus’ Town Hall in Willard on the application for the project’s financial subsidy package. Seneca Dairy Systems LLC, is seeking a package of tax breaks for the project including sales tax exemptions valued at $1.36 million over 10-12 years and a mortgage recording tax exemption worth $90,000.

The public is invited to attend.

Public Information Session Held by Seneca Dairy Systems LLC on Proposed Expansion

The lawyers representing Seneca Dairy Systems LLC held a public information session on July 11 at the Romulus Fire hall to provide information on the proposed expansion on the former Army depot property. Attorneys Kimberly Nason and David Cook, from the Phillips Lytle law firm, and Earl Martin, principal owner of Seneca Dairy Systems LLC were in attendance to present plans for a proposed 10-year, three-stage $20 million project that would eventually comprise 221,600 square feet of manufacturing, warehouse and office space on a 75-acre site within the former Seneca Army Depot.

The session was attended by about 30 people and it’s primary focus was on the plan to build a 48,600-square-foot steel galvanizing mill. While the plan seems to represent a less serious environmental threat than the recently defeated incinerator project, there is still a significant amount of skepticism. Local officials, businesses, and environmental groups as well as the public remain concerned especially in light of the furor and lawsuits that were the outcome of Circular EnerG’s efforts to build the world’s largest trash incinerator on the property.

To his credit, Mr. Martin has been more open and forthcoming than the shadowy organization behind the incinerator project. Despite that, there are a number of concerns including waste disposal and more detailed plans for Phases 2 and 3 that will need to be addressed before the public will be comfortable with his project.