Despite your recent headline, “Salt Dome Deal to be Scrapped” (May 20), the status of the commercial wood processing operation at the salt dome remains uncertain. At the May 10 Town Board meeting, Supervisor Parsons actually rolled back the previous comments of Councilman Goncalves. The entire board acquiesced, agreeing instead to have further discussions with the highway superintendent.
There was no mention of termination at the May 24 meeting either. In fact, when a resident asked the question during public comment, Supervisor Parsons vehemently shook his head no. I recently visited the site on Spring Street and saw for myself a several-story high pile of fresh-cut trees.
According to the supervisor, an “informal” arrangement with Hickory Homes has been in place for several years. There are many tree contractors local and regional serving the town, yet only one with carte blanche to operate at the dome. Why was this work not put out for a Request for Proposal and proper bidding? What environmental precautions are in place? How do we know that the contractor is not taking advantage of the town?
It has become clear that tree waste from across the county is being trucked in and processed at the site, without any public discussion of the cost benefits including impacts on neighbors, the historic character of the hamlet, the adjacent cemetery, and nearby wetlands. There are reasons the town’s highway salt is housed inside a structure, including aesthetics and to prevent run-off leaching into the aquifer. Not only is the area unsightly, among the material stored and processed there is silt cleared from catch basins which contains roadway toxins.
The board seemed confused on May 10 over the specific terms of the deal. Yet the one-page agreement itself is clear. I obtained a signed copy dated March 4, 2020 through a FOILA request. It permits either side to cancel at any time. So why hasn’t this happened yet?
Bill Bongiorno is a candidate for Lewisboro town supervisor,