Another week. Another explanation needed as to why Erie County Legislator and Republican County Executive candidate Lynne Dixon who has accepted a number of recent campaign donations from a family trying to push a potentially toxic asphalt plant onto her own community.
There’s quite the debate surrounding a proposed “hot mix” asphalt plant on Camp. Rd. in Hamburg.
On Wednesday, the Hamburg Town Board meeting was packed with concerned residents demanding the town stop construction on the proposed project:
The AL Asphalt company, a corporate entity owned by Roseanne DiPizio and joint owner of Cheektowaga Concrete, LLC, is proposing a hot mix asphalt facility at 5690 Camp Road, a property owned by her father.
Due to the close proximity to many schools, residences, daycare centers, and other businesses, residents are justifiably concerned.
The Dipizio’s are no strangers to controversy. They were once fired from the Canalside Ice Rink project and tried to sue the Erie Canal Harbor Corp. even though it was their companies inability to finish the project which led to their dismissal.
In February of this year, the elder DiPizio tried to get the Town of Cheektowaga to relinquish a portion of a town street into his possession. Turns out, the DiPizio’s though various LLC’s were in over $275,000 in Arrears to the Town of Cheektowaga.
Cheektowaga Town Board basically told them to go away:
Another point discussed by councilmembers was Mr. Dipizio’s tax arrears.
“Arrears close to $275,000,” said Supervisor Diane Benczkowski. “They have certain LLCs, so there could be more, but what we were able to identify was $275,000.”
Mr. Dipizio has 17 properties – all in Cheektowaga – tied to his name according to Erie County Real Property records. He also owns the former orphanage site at 2600 William Street.
“I don’t care if it was $5 or [$275,000]; square up with us first and then ask us to move forward with the project,” said Councilmember Brian Pilarski.
The Dipizio’s are also no strangers to the Erie County Republicans, having donated significant money to ECGOP candidates over the years.
A brief look at Dixon’s recent campaign filings show that as recently as July, the Dixon campaign accepted $750 from three DiPizio entities:
Dixon also accepted a personal fundraiser hosted by Roseanne Dipizio since their last campaign filing.
Unfortunately, it won’t be clear exactly how much money she raked in at that fundraiser until the next scheduled filing period, but it really doesn’t matter how much money it was.
The bigger question is why is the Dixon campaign accepting money from a company and family who wants to build a toxic, environmentally unfriendly, smelly, and loud asphalt plant in a town she currently represents as a County Legislator?