WARRENSBURG - In light of a new state ban on municipal brush burning, the Warrensburg Town Board decided Monday to immediately stop accepting brush at the town landfill.
Landfill employee Wendell Beadnell said the town was getting inundated with brush, which it couldn't burn since Oct. 14 when a change in policy by the state Department of Environmental Conservation took effect.
Board members discussed continuing to accept brush - chipping or grinding it into mulch, which could be sold for several dollars a bag.
But Beadnell warned them that a tub grinder, which would process the brush, would not only cost the town $500,000, but it would be expensive to maintain, run and repair.
He said that with other towns now not accepting brush, there might be huge amounts deposited at Warrensburg's landfill.
"This could be a nightmare," Beadnell said.
Geraghty noted that town officials across upstate New York were upset over the ban, and were urging the state to go back to their old policy. He said the brush burn ban, which excluded permitted individuals, would keep firefighters busy responding to reports of smoke conditions, if not actual brush fires.
Geraghty reported that stockpiling brush for weeks, then hiring a mulcher and operator to process it, would cost the town $2,500 per day.
He said that town officials would be looking into grant funding for a tub grinder, and that the sale of processed mulch might offset its operation and maintenance.