Tonawanda News — Amigone withdrew a request Wednesday to move its crematory to the other side of the company’s Sheridan Drive property, Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick confirmed.
In July, the company asked the Erie County Legislature to hold a hearing on moving the operation to the corner of Parker Boulevard and Sheridan Drive — just a few hundred feet away from its current location.
Amigone’s attorney, Robert Knoer, said that although the move would have been costly, the relocation would have created more distance between the crematory and residents who have complained of noxious odors.
In order for Amigone to move the crematory, the Erie County Legislature would first have to designate that area as cemetery land, even though the company already owns it. A public hearing on the potential move was set for Monday.
But Wednesday, Hardwick said he received a letter from Knoer withdrawing the request and canceling the hearing.
“After meeting with the neighbors and hearing from people who had canvassed the neighborhood, Amigone determined that the neighbors are not supportive of the proposal. Since the neighbors did not support of the move the request by Amigone for a designation of cemetery land was withdrawn,” Knoer wrote in an email.
Residents who live near the crematory did not respond well to the possibility of the reopening of a crematory on the Sheridan Drive property. Bill Pilkington, who has lived on the street behind Amigone for more than 40 years, said he disapproved of the proposed relocation.
“The bottom line is that it is not going to change anything,” he said. “It is still going to be letting out smoke, soot and odors that are horrible ... it should have never been there in the first place.”
Rebecca Newberry of the citizen group the Clean Air Coalition said residents are now worried Amigone will reopen the crematory at its original location. The organization has been working with the town board to craft a resolution in opposition to the resumption of the operation.