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Aramingo Rail Transfer is ‘bad for community’ says those at Frankford Civic

A proposed nine-acre trash transfer site for the outskirts of Frankford is facing a growing collection of neighborhood groups and legislators.

The proposed Aramingo Rail Transfer, which would deposit hauls of waste onto rail cars to be taken to landfills and was first portrayed as a greener alternative to trucking trash out, has come under fire in recent months, according to petitions circulated by the founders of an adjacent business.

“This is not good for our community,” Fran Levin, the executive vice president of Northeast Building Products, told 10 residents in attendance at the Frankford Civic Association meeting Thursday night. Their complex at 4280 Aramingo Ave. is across the street and within 50 feet of the ART plans for 2580 Church Street. In 2006, she said, the plans had the backing of state Rep. John Taylor and City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski, but then the plans were only for managing construction debris.

Now that household trash and municipal waste are involved, Levin says, things have changed. Taylor and Krajewski are out, said Frankford Civic Zoning Chairman Pete Speccos.

Art Holiday shooting update

The controversial, unlicensed nightclub in the former Art Holiday building near the intersection of Kensington and Frankford avenues of Frankford has been shutdown, says 15th police district Sgt. Nick Mocharnuk.

The building will remain closed until its owner pays back taxes and receives appropriate approval, the sergeant said.

Last month a shooting outside the building left a 19-year-old woman in critical condition and launched a fury of community outrage.

Department of Licenses and Inspections representative Dominic Verdi closed the operation days after, the sergeant said.

Mocharnuk said the woman who was shot has survived.

Northwood Civic Association President Barry Howell, who was in attendance, pledged is organization’s support. State Rep. Tony Payton, whose district is adjacent to Taylor’s near the site, would also likely make clear his opposition to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, which is responsible for approving the final permit to allow construction of the site, said Payton’s Chief of Staff Jorge Santana.

An ART representative was not present, nor was one immediately available. However, in September, John Ryan, one of the partners in the ART project, told the Port Richmond Star that many of the complaints were overblown. The 325 daily trucks bringing to the site 2,500 tons of trash, none of which could legally remain for more than 24 hours, would be less than 10 percent of traffic in the area, he said. Any noise and smell would be minimized by the facility’s proposed enclosure, Ryan said. Ryan also highlighted the many green and financial benefits to using rail over trucking trash out.

Ryan said he expects 35 full-time jobs across three shifts to be generated from the company, though Levin said those jobs might hurt the value of her business and their some 300 employees.

The project has all necessary zoning and city planning approvals — from when the process was started four years ago.

But Levin says that there was no community opposition then because the project was fundamentally different so should be brought under further scrutiny.

Below, watch Levin’s speech at the Frankford Civic meeting.

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