Asks Standley to define 'handful'
To the editor:
I am writing this in response to the comments made by Mr. Standley of the Genesis Solid Waste Group Inc. regarding the transfer station proposed by Fred Weber. I am going to give the people the whole picture of this proposed station.
Councilman Campisi made a comment that with all of the public opposition, he does not understand why Fred Weber is still going after the piece of land on Baumgartner. Mr. Standley's response was one reason the company is pursuing the site is because there is virtually no traffic problem in the area and a transfer station wouldn't create a traffic problem.
Traffic is one of the main concerns of this site. This area of south county is the only area experiencing any significant growth.
Doesn't Mr. Standley see the brand new college that was just built? Or the new and very large subdivision going in? Anyone who deals with Old Baumgartner and Baumgartner on a daily basis knows that this comment from Mr. Standley can't be true.
Why is Fred Weber pushing so hard for this site? Money. It's the $350 tipping fee per truck, about 100 trucks daily. It's the fact that the trash industry is a very lucrative and competitive industry. Fred Weber is now scrambling to get transfer stations in so that they have a competitive advantage in the future. The first mover advantage will play big in the industry and this advantage and the profitability margins have blinded Fred Weber of any civic concern or responsibility. Why are they pushing so hard? Why doesn't Mr. Standley share the fee he is receiving for these stations?
Mr. Standley also said he does not know why there is so much opposition to the station and there are fewer churches near the site on Baumgartner Road than many others that already exist in the market area. I have not seen one site that is anywhere near as close to churches and residences as this one.
The Environmental Protection Agency says that transfer stations should be at least 1,500 feet away from churches, schools, and homes. This one is about 200 feet away.
The EPA also says that they should not be built in highly residential areas and should be set back and out of public view. They should allow for a buffer zone, usually a wooded area, surrounding the stations. This location is exactly opposite of this. These are not guidelines established by Oakville citizens; these are written by the EPA.
According to Mr. Standley, " I have never seen a community, not a community, a handful of residents act this hostile toward a transfer station." How does Mr. Standley define a handful — over 1,000 people at one meeting, over 800 at another and over 200 at a County Council meeting.
Mr. Westfall said that there has never been public opposition like this regarding any other project in his service time. Also, it's not just the residents. Responsible business owners in the area — unlike Fred Weber — also spoke up in opposition. The owners of Semco Plastics and AC Delco both spoke in opposition. The reverend at Canaan Baptist Church spoke in opposition on behalf of his church and its members. Even St. Louis Community College sent a representative to speak in opposition of the station. Many local and state politicians spoke in opposition to this including Councilman Campisi, Anita Yeckel, Walt Bivins and more. Again, Mr. Standley, could you define your idea of a handful?
By the way, if Mr. Standley wants to throw out superlatives such as hostile residents. I have a few for him, Tom Dunne and Fred Weber Inc. — namely, sneaky, underhanded, irresponsible and untrustworthy. If we are hostile, it is only because we were pushed in a corner by the tactics of Fred Weber. They tried to get this station in without public knowledge and have pulled every underhanded trick possible to get his precious moneymaker in and rob south county residents of our rights.
According to the EPA and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, public consideration and well-planned meetings are essential for the positioning of these stations. Considering Mr. Standley and Fred Weber made every attempt to do just the opposite, I am wondering why we would believe anything they have to say.
Mr. Standley made the comment that these stations are welcomed in other areas. I would love to talk to these people that are welcoming trash into their homes. As far as I can tell, these stations are normally kept away from residential areas because they would not be welcome. To most civically responsible companies, this would be a given. But for a reason called money, Fred Weber has lost all regard for it's civil duty and has become an enemy of the county.
In closing, I would like to say that I am appalled at the nerve of Mr. Standley. The fact that he and Fred Weber have even gotten this far is a true testament to what political connections can do for you, no matter what is right for the community.