The Coxsackie Town Board clearly wants to rid the community of an unpermitted waste tire operation in the hamlet of Climax. The challenge is getting support from all the law-enforcing agencies and cooperation from the owner. The solution will not be easy.

It was alarming to learn that Green Tire Recycling owner Shane Foster held a license for a maximum of 1,000 tires, which he long ago exceeded. Coxsackie Town Supervisor alleges there are now more than 10,000 tires on the property. And those are truck tires, not car tires.

Town officials got complaints last fall about two tire dumps operated by Green Tire Recycling, one on Route 81 and one on Surprise Result Road. The state Department of Environmental Conservation fined Foster $2,250 for each location, but he has paid only $750 for each, Hanse said.

The state also set a deadline of March 27 — three weeks ago — for the tires to be removed from both properties, Hanse said. Foster failed to meet that deadline.

Where and how the tires are stored is straining the patience of residents. The tires are not hidden from view by a berm or trees. They are visible to motorists traveling on Route 81. The concerns don’t end there. Residents say the pile of tires gets bigger all the time, and they fear Foster will bolt, leaving the town holding a tremendous cleanup bill.

Unregulated tire storage is dangerous because it’s a fire hazard, it promotes mosquito breeding whose spawn can cause illnesses with a bite and, in Coxsackie’s case, none of it was permitted. The potential for health problems, ecological nightmares and economic setbacks is nothing less than calamitous. Town leaders can’t let this situation get worse.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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