You are here

Dump History Slows Nate's Expansion


The city’s only mobile home park may soon expand its offered lots by a half dozen units—but only if experts find that living on top of where the city dump once was is not hazardous to residents’ health.

Nate’s Floral Estates was built in the early 1970s, and already has about 125 homes in the park. A rezoning ordinance that would allow six more lots by eliminating some setback requirements on the south end of the park, which is adjacent to Lowe’s, was circulated in April. The Planning and Economic Development Committee unanimously passed it at their May meeting without a peep of opposition.

At the June Common Council meeting, Walter Hang of Toxics Targeting appeared to voice his concerns about the site, which served as a city dump for some time starting in the 1950s.

“Before it gets vegetated in the spring time you can go to the edge of the Wegman’s parking lot and literally see artifacts sticking out of the side of the site,” Hang told council members, showing a picture of one 55-gallon drum he said was on the Nate’s site. Hang said that he believes it to be the only site in the state of New York “where people are living directly on top of fill” from a dump and said it was “irresponsible to put more people on top of this contaminated site.” He called for vapor gas release systems to be installed at the site, like those that one can see in the light poles at Lowe’s—a property that was once a mini-golf course owned by the current ownership at Nate’s Floral Estates.

Elaine Weiner, the park’s owner, disagrees with Hang’s assessment.

“We have a lot of long-time residents who have been here thirty-plus years, this is their home,” Weiner said. “We have no more sicknesses here than in the whole city, other than our tenants are 55 and above … I dare say there’s no neighborhood in the city better kept than this.”

Weiner said that the six proposed lots were voted into the park “a long time ago” and are on engineers’ drawings; she said there is a waiting list of at least seven people waiting for a place in Nate’s.