AIDA is sued over landfill

The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency board held its first formal meeting this week, where a c

The Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency board held its first formal meeting this week, where a completely new set of members picked officers. They were also slapped with their first lawsuit.

Amsterdam’s Town Board passed a resolution authorizing a state Supreme Court lawsuit against AIDA and the developers of the proposed construction and debris landfill at the Amsterdam Industrial Park.

Supervisor Thomas DiMezza said that although the papers were filed in September, the board had to officially authorize the lawsuit.

The town is alleging that the developers were not compliant with the State Environmental Quality Review Act because of problems with the project’s draft environmental impact statement and final environmental impact statement.

The lawsuit seeks to void any contract between AIDA and the developer, Amsterdam Materials Recycling, for that reason.

City officials contend that the lawsuit is frivolous because the project died when the Common Council failed to pass a resolution changing the zoning laws for the proposed landfill site.

DiMezza said with each new administration comes the opportunity for the developers to delve into the project again.

“We want to make sure that this is really dead,” he said.

AIDA Executive Director Frank Valiante said as far as he is concerned there are no plans to move this project forward.

“This is something that is ongoing. The lawyers are dealing with it and I have faith that they will straighten it out,” he said.

The previous AIDA board unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the agency to pay its attorney, Paul Wollman, $5,000 to handle this issue.

A tentative court date is set for Feb. 4.

Meanwhile, AIDA members unanimously selected retired auditor Daniel DeRossi as chairman of the board. He said his role will be to “act as a caretaker and keep the meetings going.”

“We need to agree to disagree and try to get Amsterdam moving forward,” he said.

The board also elected Robert Quick, head of Tailwind Associates, as vice chairman; accountant Michael Rossi as treasurer and State Police Captain William Tatun as secretary.

“All of these guys have Amsterdam’s best interest at heart,” Valiante said.

DeRossi said the group is still learning what its roles and responsibilities are so there are no plans on the horizon yet. DeRossi said the board will probably meet with the mayor and members of the Common Council soon to learn what their expectations are.

“We can’t go forward unless we know what’s expected of us,” he said.

The next AIDA board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.

Categories: Schenectady County

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