Planning Board approves more grain storage at ethanol plant

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Western New York Energy wants to add 800,000 bushels of grain capacity to the plant at the corner of Route 31A and Bates Road.

ALBION – The Orleans County Planning Board backed a plan to boost the grain storage capacity for the ethanol plant in Medina by 800,000 bushels.

Western New York Energy submitted a site plan for a 105-foot wide by 142-foot high steel silo. A conveyor system at the top of the bin would increase the height to 155 feet.

The added space would increase grain reserves from 17 days to 30 days, providing greater capacity when deliveries could be impeded by inclement winter weather, county planners said.

The project will cost about $2 million, Michael Sawyer, WNY Energy chief executive officer, told the Orleans Hub during a previous interview.

Construction for the project is expected to run from July through September. It will be on existing developed land that is south of the current corn silos that have 1 million bushels of storage space with two 500,000-bushel grain bins.

In other action last Thursday, the Planning Board:

Approved the site plan for James Lustumbo of Medina to build a 49-unit storage facility on West Avenue, bordering Maple Ridge Road.

Lustumbo wants to build the units in two phases, with 25 in phase one and 24 in phase two. The units would be 150 and 200 square feet. He plans to call the business, Lakewood Storage Facility.

Recommended the Town of Albion approve the site plan, permit request and setback variances for Michael Donnelly to operate a motor vehicle repair shop at his home at 3406 Eagle Harbor Rd.

Donnelly plans to use an attached garage to operate the business, including snowmobile, ATV and small engine repair.

Donnelly needs a 0.5 foot variance from the 15-foot minimum residential setback, a 14.2 foot variance from the minimum 50-foot canal right of way setback and a 19-foot variance from the 20-foot minimum for a driveway setback.

Planners said there is no practical remedy for reducing the variances short of abandoning the project.