Truck traffic has again reared its head as an issue for the Lewiston-Porter Central School District, as an expanded pre-kindergarten program has pushed class times out of blackout periods for trucks from a nearby hazardous waste landfill.

Trucks from Porter-based CWM Chemical Services cannot be in front of the landfill’s gate from 7:15 to 9:15 a.m. and 2 to 3:45 p.m. — according to its state permit — in an attempt to avoid trucks near school grounds when students are coming or going from school.

But the pre-kindergarten program, in its second year at Lew-Port, begins this year at just the time the blackout is lifted, creating an influx of trucks, busses and cars at the same time, said April Fideli, a parent with a child in pre-K who is also president of Residents for Responsible Government.

“It’s just chaos,” she said. “To have these blackouts protecting all these children is the right thing to do.”

Fideli recently asked the Lew-Port School Board to draft a resolution to CWM to extend its blackout periods, and said district officials have sounded agreeable to that idea.

Reached on Monday, district Interim Superintendent Don Rappold would not go as far as to support such a move, saying as a matter of policy that the board’s focus is on students and curriculum. But he said he was also open to the idea of “talking” to CWM to expand its blackout hours.

A more pressing district issue is convincing the state Department of Transportation to extend the times when the speed limit near the school is 35 mph, Rappold said. Extending that speed limit time from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. would be desirable.

“We may even ask the (DOT) to do a feasibility study to see if we can have it at 35 mph during all school operating hours,” Rappold said. “If we can do anything to enhance the safety of the kids we’re going to do that.”

CWM spokesperson Lori Caso said that CWM has received no formal request to modify its blackout hours and so was reluctant to respond to RRG’s concerns. However, the issue has come to the attention of her and other CWM officials, she said.

Caso pointed out the sparse attendance at a recent meeting held on CWM premises addressing truck traffic concerns. Very few members of the public or press were on hand, she said.

“When we opened our doors to talk about it, they didn’t come,” she said. “We’ve been open all along to discussing this.”

Another meeting could be scheduled, possibly at a public meeting space and off CWM grounds, to discuss the issue, Caso said.

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