Report from MICA President Gail Lynch-Bailey:
I was finally able to meet with someone in person at the old Kogel site on Thursday, September 24. I saw some activity and drove in, spoke to one worker, then left my civic card under the doormat of the locked trailer. I got a call from someone less than 15 minutes later. I then met with Jeff DeFranco of JD Material and Trucking for over an hour in the job site trailer.
Here is what Jeff told me: he is renting the space from the corporate owners (tentatively identified as Brodsky or Brodski) to store his equipment, which consists of at least 2 tractor trailers, an excavator, a payloader and the trailer. In exchange for rent, Jeff has been doing the removal of all the concrete, drainage pools, etc., that have been an attractive nuisance on the site for ATVers, skateboarders and such. Jeff showed me the TOB permit for this process. Many of the footings are extremely deep, thick and long. Much of the removal has been occurring at night, Jeff said, because he is not union, so his trucks cannot enter approved drop off places during the day when union trucks are present.
The DEC has been to Kogel nine times (they were there when I drove in on Thursday!) They have only issued one violation, for the berms. The berms were built in lieu of more expensive fencing, to shield surrounding areas from noise, dust, etc. The DEC should have approved the material used for the berms prior to their formation. But the DEC tested the dirt after the fact and it is okay, per what Jeff told me.
In addition to completing the debris removal, Jeff will then re-grade much of the site (almost 21 acres) to bring it up to near trailer-floor height. There is at least a five foot variance from the northwest corner to the southeast corner (not including the excavated areas which are much deeper.) Jeff wants to use as much material on site as possible to do this (the berms?) because otherwise DEC will need to approve all the dirt he brings in for the re-grading.
We discussed the problems of trucks on our roads, especially near schools, and other local issues. Most importantly, Jeff has issued an open invitation for us to visit and tour the site with him. I would like several of us to do so, soon. A number of you have written or spoken to me about this site with legitimate concerns. I hope we can arrange a mutually convenient late afternoon or two where we can inspect and ask more questions about this location at the heart of our hamlet. Please reply here, to me personally at Gailybaily@aol.com, or message me with your availability.