By Joyce M. Miles
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The Common Council approved issue of a special use permit for Lockport Recycling Center, a new business on Oakhurst Street, on Wednesday.
The business, operated by Charles Heinrich, will collect construction-and-demolition debris for recycling markets. It will open at 178 Oakhurst, across the street from Lock City Trucking, possibly as early as this spring pending receipt of a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Council OK’d a special use permit with conditions that were recommended by the city planning board. Although the property is 17 acres, operations are planned on one acre only. The operating area is to be fenced in to catch any loose debris and a stormwater catch basin and watering device must be installed on the site, the latter for dust control, according to the conditions.
A public hearing on Heinrich’s permit request drew few comments. Prior to the hearing the city was in communication with two homeowners whose properties are closest to the site; the homeowners’ concerns about possible environmental impacts of waste collection were considered by the planning board and were the board’s basis for suggesting site plan changes and permit conditions, according to Mayor Michael Tucker.
Dick Huntington of 115 Oakhurst St., the parcel closest to 178 Oakhurst, said he had no serious objections to Heinrich’s proposal. He believes the present owner is intent on selling the property, which is zoned for heavy industrial uses, and concluded, “this seems a lot less worse than it could be. You don’t know what could come along next.”
In other business Wednesday, the Council OK’d an easement over Caledonia Street for Hydraulic Race Co., which is having the Lockport Cave Visitors Center built at 5 Gooding St. The company is having electric cable installed underground so that the visitors center gets power from existing infrastructure at 29 Gooding, co-owner Thomas Callahan said.
Also, Tucker announced a batch of appointments to the planning board and the newly revived bed tax committee.
On the planning board, Terry K. Harmon of Regent Street is taking over for Howard Luff, who’s resigning as of March 1. Jeff Tracy of Cherry Street will take the seat being vacated by Brian Bower. Linda S. Roth of Locust Street is taking the seat vacated last fall by Michael Worthington.
The bed tax committee is composed of: Patrick Schrader, 4th Ward alderman; Scott Cain, Greater Lockport Development Corporation board member; R. Charles Bell representing the Tourism Task Force; Keith McNall, 13th District Niagara County legislator; and Heather Peck, Lockport Main Street Inc. project manager.
The committee was reestablished by the Council earlier this month to review an application from the Flight of Five Winery for a $50,000 grant from a city bed tax-fed community and economic development fund.
The fund presently contains about $50,000. It’s been taking about $7,500 a year since 2002 and hasn’t been tapped in years, according to Bell, who is also the city’s director of planning and