TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – An uneasy truce hangs over a Northtowns crematory whose operators want to get it going again, over the objections of neighbors and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
The crematory is attached to the Amigone Funeral Home on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Tonawanda, and the Amigone family signed an agreement with Schneiderman and the State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2012 to close the facility, amid complaints from neighbors about the smell, the ash, and exhaust emissions.
Beth Reed’s new swimming pool sits in the shadow the Amigone crematory’s smokestack. For the two years she has had the pool at her home on Werkley Road, the crematory has been closed, and Reed said it is a far cry from her old pool.
“The water has been the cleanest I have seen it, from my prior pool, ever since it has been shut down.”
Now, the Amigones want to re-open the facility whose formal owner is Sheridan Park, Inc. and the operators say they have met the conditions for putting the facility back online. A state judge cleared the way, Wednesday, rejecting the Attorney General’s plea for a court order to stop it.
Schneiderman said he expects the operators to keep the crematory closed, pending further discussions and another court hearing next month.
“They have indicated they are not going to do this–it is a part of negotiations going forward. So I don’t expect they are going to be doing that anytime soon, and if they do, we will deal with it.”
“But the Amigones’ attorneys say the only real talks that have taken place have been in the courtroom, even though they have offered several times to negotiate a resolution outside of court.”
Attorney Stacey Moar of the Lippes Mathes Wexler Friedman firm insists the Amigones have all the permits necessary to re-open the crematory, and following Wednesday’s decision by State Supreme Court Justice John Curran they can.
But Moar said they would like to work out the final conditions with the Attorney General, “We have reached out to them multiple times, to ask for that to happen, so we are hopeful that it will happen before we re-connect any operations.”
When the case returns to court on February 17, attorneys for both sides will have another opportunity to further argue their positions, in front of a different judge, which could result in a different ruling.