Records contradict supervisor's statements

By Julianne Peixoto

July 1, 2014 Updated Jul 2, 2014 at 12:12 PM EDT

Conklin, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Conklin Town Supervisor Jim Finch said the salt distribution center on Hardie Road is not breaking any regulations.

He also said those regulations about business operation hours and the amount of traffic generated by its operation are mere guidelines and not to be followed closely.

But records show otherwise.

Stipulations agreed to by the town and JVA De Icing on Hardie Road in August 2012 state the company would use approximately five to eight trucks a day, but may use as few as three or as many as 12 depending on the weather.

And although residents and Finch say JVA is using between 20 and 40 trucks per day, Finch says the business isn't doing anything wrong.

"If they’re [Conklin residents] under the illusion there’s gonna be eight to 12 trucks a day, then they were misinformed what was presented at the board (in 2012), and the board was misinformed of what they said the agenda was gonna be," said Finch. "[The company] should have went higher than lower to appease everybody, [the company] should have come out and said this is what it is, and it probably would’ve been passed even if it was 100 trucks, as long as it passed the county."

Members of the company, including owner Joe Tuzze, have declined to comment.

"I think that was a mistaken statement," said Finch of the regulations set in 2012. "He (the company) should have said 20-40 trucks, maybe he was trying to be nice to the neighbors, I don't know what his thoughts were, but his business has grown and grown and grown. What do we do shut him off, tell him he can’t be there anymore?"

"Whatever we can do to generate revenue for the town, we’re going to do as long as it’s in the restrictions of what the planning board allows them to do," said Finch.

Finch said the company is in fact operating within the restrictions the planning board set.

"Right now according to the code officer and our attorney there’s not a problem with it," said Finch.

When asked to clarify whether the regulations need not be enforced, Finch responded: "Right. Yeah."

But minutes from a Feb. 11 Conklin Town Board state the town's code enforcement officer is charged with monitoring the company's compliance of the standards set in 2012.

The minutes state, "...neither the Planning Board nor Broome County is responsible for policing compliance at the salt distribution center, but rather (code enforcement officer) Mr. (Bob) Jones is responsible for this task."

The minutes continue on to specify that, "Mr. Jones should determine the number of trucks going in and out of the site on a daily basis."

Finch could not be reached for comment late Tuesday.