Wed March 6, 2013
Battle over proposed scrap metal yard in Buffalo
The first phase of what is likely to be a long fight over a proposed scrap metal recycling operation near Hertel and Military ended Tuesday when the Buffalo Common Council voted against it. WBFO'S Mike Desmond reports the issue is now off to the courts.
Peter Adornetto operates Auto City of Buffalo on the site and wants to sell to the owners of Upstate Shredding. The owners of Niagara Metals, who operate nearby, are opposed to letting the Weitsman family take over the Auto City site.
North District Common Council member Joseph Golombek says he is opposed to a complicated land deal involving the proposed scrap yard site in his district.
"There was a lot of misinformation that was being sent out into the neighborhood that we were trying to find out what exactly was and wasn't being built in this location. In a perfect world we would have voted on it last July," said Golombek. "But because of all of the concerns that the residents have, unfortunately it did get dragged out."
Other council members also voted against the scrap yard.
Lawyer Laurence Rubin represents the Weitsman family, which would operate the site, if purchased from Adornetto of Auto City.
Rubin says there will be a lawsuit because it's an arbitrary and capricious vote by the Council.
"This is the only license application that they had any discussion about. Every single other thing was simply rubber stamped," said Rubin. The council member simply made up stories. He said the neighbor association was against it. We have letters on the record that neighborhood associations were all for this. I don't understand where he is coming from."
Former Erie County Executive and now lobbyist Joel Giambra also accuses Golombek of lying. Giambra said it's a mistake by the Council.
"That we don't want your $7 million. They didn't ask for one penny of IDA money. They have not asked for a nickel of property tax relief. This property right now is assessed for $140,000. The Weitsman family, Kim Weitsman and her family...were prepared to put $7 million of their money into a corner that is woefully need of some modernization," said Giambra.
Giambra produced a letter from the Good Neighbor Planning Alliance in the district backing the Weistman plan.