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Ancram planning officials mulling excavation request

Sep 19, 2021 5:30 am

Diane Valden is reporting for The Columbia Paper the Acram Planning Board has requested more information before it decides on the application submitted by Fred Schneeberger, the owner/operator of G & S Excavating of Ancramdale, to remove thousands of yards of sand and gravel from a farm field along the east side of Route 22, just north of White House Crossing Road. At the board’s September 2 meeting, Chairman John Ingram noted that he had received an updated project map from Schneeberger, which shows the change in topography the excavation would cause. Ingram told Schneeberger that a few issues still need to be addressed. He said information was missing from the Short Environmental Assessment Form such as mention of the wetlands on the property, delineations, setbacks and buffers. The board has also requested Schneeberger develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan and obtain a pollution prevention plan permit from the DEC. A planning board member also raised concerns about the presence on the property of the bog turtle, a threatened species. The application, dated May 5, has been under consideration by the board for the past few months. Schneeberger a knoll in the field must be removed in order to make the terrain safer for the operation of farm machinery. He is acting on behalf of John Langdon, a Copake farmer who for 20 years has leased the 108 acres, where he grows soybean and feed corn. The property is owned by Anthony Palumbo, who applied previously to the state Department of Environmental Conservation for a permit to operate a 73-acre gravel mine on the property, but was turned down. The current project proposal calls for the removal of 20,000 cubic feet of sand and gravel over a 15-month period. The excavated material would then be delivered to landowner Palumbo’s block factory in Dover Plains. Project opponents, many of whom are residents of the Boston Corners area and project neighbors, are demanding evidence that the project is necessary to farm operations and not a short-term mining enterprise. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.