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OP neighbors concerned about former NIKE base missile site

Posted at 12:05 AM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 08:23:51-04

Orchard Park resident Laura Piccillo says every time it rains, water spews from a manhole that is located on her property.

"We've had constant flooding each and every time it rains. The manhole overflows like a fountain," said Piccillo.

She says the water is spewing from an old sanitary sewer, and is causing damage to her driveway. She says as a result, her driveway is buckling, flooding and even sinking. But more than even the property damage, she says is the concern for what's inside the water, and where it's coming form.

It's a sanitary sewer pipe, which runs from the old NIKE missile base site in Orchard Park through her property and she says dumps into Cazenovia Creek. The NIKE base missile site was once used by the military during the 1950s and 60s.

"I don't let me children go near the manhole cover or its water," said Piccillo. "It's dark, it smells, what's in this water?"

"It concerns me that people are concerned," said Gregory Goepfert, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

Piccillo's red flags along with other neighbors concerns is part of the reason the Army Corps of Engineers hosted a public forum Thursday night about the former missile base sites. Goepfert says the last investigation done on the sewer treatment plant on the site was between 1993 and 2002, and according to Goepfert did not yield any concern on part of the Army.

"Those lines have been transferred to other parties when the Army left the property in 1964. The extent in which we can get involved with that is to be seen," he said. "From the reports that have been done, we see no immediate danger situation."

The property is now owned by HRI, Health Research Incorporated. We did speak to a representative from HRI at Thursday's meeting, and he said he is not authorized to comment. We did learn that Roswell Park Cancer Institute is affiliated with HRI, but does not own the property.

Piccolo says she has a pending lawsuit for property damage against the company, and at least she says wants the sewer line capped off and fixed.

Those who attended Thursday night's meeting are encouraged to join a voluntary restoration advisory group. It's a group that will meet to discuss information and concerns regarding the former NIKE missile base site.