Town of Lancaster officials joined a growing rank of municipalities opposed to the controversial use of equate on farms in Erie, Wyoming and Niagara counties, and is urging the state not to grant any permits for its use by Quasar Energy Corp.
“Numerous municipalities have banned its use because it’s found to have human waste in it, though the state Department of Environmental Conservation says it’s safe,” Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli said during the town’s work session before the board approved a resolution opposing its use.
Fudoli said no one has approached anyone in Lancaster about spreading equate on any agricultural land, but he was quick to say the board’s adopted resolution from Monday could be rescinded.
“We are a right-to-farm community. This doesn’t tie the hands of our farmers down the road, in case it’s found to be safe,” he said.
Fudoli described the resolution as a “current ban” on equate, a material derived from sewage, and that more research needs to be done.
“We will do some more research, but this is not a moratorium,” he added.
The town resolution urges the state Department of Environmental Conservation to revoke or deny any permit under consideration by Cleveland-based Quasar Energy Group that would allow use of equate in the three counties.
In an unrelated matter, the board approved hiring four part-time assistant dog control officers temporarily to continue to beef up the townwide dog census effort.
Councilman Mark S. Aquino abstained from the vote because one of the hires is one of his relatives.
Town Clerk Johanna Coleman reiterated the early success of the census efforts which have so far just completed about one-quarter of the town.
Fudoli said the town has been getting a notable response to the efforts. “We seem to be finding some new dogs out there, that’s for sure,” he said. “It is a public safety issue. This is very important and hasn’t been done in years.”
Town officials have grown concerned when dog bites have been reported and the offending pooch has not been licensed and may not have its vaccinations up to date and the person bitten has to undergo painful testing as a result because it’s unknown if the dog may have rabies.
Some of the census takers are college students and will be leaving their jobs in coming weeks.
The town is looking for more people to continue in the temporary jobs, which pay $8 per hour. Applications are available at lancasterny.gov/government.