The Erie County Legislature voted 7-4 Thursday to revoke a cemetery designation that had allowed Amigone Funeral Home to operate a controversial crematory in the Town of Tonawanda. Without that designation, the crematory can't reopen. Until the operators voluntarily shut down the facility two years ago, the crematory had been a source of irritation to nearby residents who complained of odors, smoke and soot that emanated from it. About 20 residents who live near the closed facility or within the town showed up for Thursday's vote Newport Cigarettes Coupons. Rebecca Newberry of the Clean Air Coalition, which has been working with residents to ensure the crematory is not reopened, called the vote "a significant victory that rights the wrong that was done in 1991." "We're thrilled" Newberry said after the vote. "A lot of folks teared up today. It's just the end of a very long struggle and there are a lot of folks along the way who passed away that have been fighting this in this neighborhood Carton Of Cigarettes," she added. Carol Fritsch of Werkley Road grew up in the house in which she now lives. Sometime before the crematory was installed, she married and moved away, then returned to the house in 2005 after her parents died. Immediately upon moving back into the neighborhood, Fritsch said, she noticed there was a problem with the neighboring facility. "The smell was just horrible," Fritsch said. Since the crematory shut down in 2012, she said the problems have disappeared. At recent hearings conducted by the Legislature, funeral home operators Anthony P. Amigone Jr. and his father, Anthony Sr., informed lawmakers and residents of plans to install a state-of-the-art filtration abatement system. They said the new system would exceed state Department of Environmental Conservation regulations and, hopefully, address neighboring residents' concerns. Funeral home attorneys also strongly hinted that Amigone would sue the county if it revoked the designation. Some lawmakers cited that threat Thursday in arguing against the revocation. "Well, I know they're going to sue, but I'm not going to think about that," Fritsch said. Voting to revoke the designation were Republicans Kevin R. Hardwick, who represents the neighborhood around the crematory, and Chairman John J. Mills of Orchard Park; and Democrats Betty Jean Grant, Barbara Miller Williams, Patrick B. Burke and Peter J. Savage, all of Buffalo, and Thomas A. Loughran of Amherst. Voting against the revocation were Majority Leader Joseph C. Lorigo, C-West Seneca; Republicans Edward A. Rath of Amherst and Ted Morton of Depew; and Independence Party member Lynne M. Dixon of Hamburg. The Amigones attended the Legislature session, but left almost immediately after the vote. In a phone interview a couple of hours later Marlboro Lights, Anthony Amigone Jr. said he was stunned by the Legislature's action. "It felt as though we were tried without a judge or lawyer to defend ourselves," he said. Asked if the company would sue, he was noncommittal. Prior to the vote, Lorigo attempted to get his Legislature colleagues to reconsider Newport Cigarettes. While sympathizing with the residents, he said they are "fighting a fight on the previous crematory, not the abatement system that the Amigones are trying to implement." He noted that the crematory had only once in 24 years of operation been cited by the state Department of Environmental Conservation over an emissions problem, after which the Amigones voluntarily shut it down. "I don't believe the Erie County Legislature is the body that should be voting on this. The New York State DEC regulates the crematory," he said. "Voting on this today would be an abuse of the Legislature's discretion." Amigone also cited a 1998 legal memo to the Legislature saying the regulation of noise or odors from the crematory "is not a County function." But on the Legislature floor, Hardwick urged his colleagues to "put people before profits, people before politics Online Cigarettes." "I've enjoyed my backyard the past 25 years," Hardwick said. "Unfortunately . during that same period of time, the residents of Werkley Road in a nice neighborhood in the Town of Tonawanda have not had that same luxury, because they had to contend with noise and odors from a corporation's crematory," he added.
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