CAMILLUS, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The Camillus Town Board laid everything out in front of concerned neighbors Tuesday night regarding their legal efforts with a proposed four million gallon manure storage facility.

Camillus residents gathered before the meeting to hold a peaceful protest outside the municipal building to share their opposition to the project. 

One of the protest organizers, Beth Mercurio lives just a few hundred feet away from the proposed site with her two sons. 

“What will happen to the air and let alone 9 Mile Creek and all the land?” she asked. “My children won’t be able to just roam freely outdoors because of this open manure lagoon. It’s an open pit, that scares me,” she said. 

The potential for reduced air quality in the area is a major concern for her 10-year-old son Owen who suffers from asthma. 

“We have to use a nebulizer daily for him and then to put in toxic gasses into the air… I don’t know what I’ll do for my son, his pediatrician has already told us that it is very dangerous for him to live that close to a pit.”

Beth Mercurio, Camillus resident

If the manure storage facility does get constructed she said the for sale sign is going up on the house they’ve called home for the last 8 years.

“We’ve put so much work into it just ourselves… to have to leave because we’ll have zero property value and then likely not be able to sell it, I mean it keeps me up at night,” she said. 

Many other residents shared similar concerns as they held signs reading, “Stop the Pit” and “Protect Camillus.” 

A public hearing continued Tuesday night into the proposed local law that would allow the town to conduct a site plan review of the land if passed. Town Attorney Jim Gascon shared that the board had just received comments back from Ag and Markets on the local law a few hours before the meeting. Ag and Markets and County Planning must review the local law and make sure it is in compliance before the board can vote on it. They hope to review the comments by Ag and Markets over the next few weeks and present a newly amended law during the next board meeting. 

Attorney Jim Gascon added that the town has submitted FOIL requests for documents from the NYS DEC, Ag and Markets, and the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District. The town is still waiting to receive the geology report from the Hourigan Family Farm, despite multiple requests.