Town of Erin New York
Mitstifer Mine (Gravel/Sand Pit)

Questions and Concerns - LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD

           TODAY IS THE LAST DAY to meet the deadline!


Last paragraph states, "Comments on the project and specific recommendations for the permit should be returned to my attention (Frances Knickmeyer - before the end of the comment period, which is August 25, 2023." 


NOTE:  The date is prior to the Veteran Town Planning Board meeting

ON MONDAY, September 11th, 2023  - 7:00pm

Veteran Town Hall 4049 Watkins Rd. Millport, NY 14864   

 607-739-1476 Town Clerk Colleen Jones  (Clerk hours:  Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri 9:30 AM -5 PM)

Website: <>

Next Veteran Town Board Meeting September 14th 7:00 PM (2nd Thursday of every month)


Erin Town Board Meeting September 13, 2023 6:30 PM (Second Wednesday of each month)

1138 Breesport Rd.          (Clerk hours:  Mon, Tue, Wed 1-6 pm and Fri 8-noon)

Erin,  NY   14838

607607-73-8681 Diane Wise-Hollenbeck ext#1

website: <

Planning Board Meeting August 28th, 2023 6:30 PM (Fourth Monday of each month)


The Mitstifer Mine (Gravel/Sand Pit) is located in both Erin and Veteran towns.

Prior to Austin Excavating (Austin Rentals, LLC) purchasing the mine it has always been a private mine.


Dawn and others from Erin may not know me. I am Marlene Little and a very active resident of our town and I am writing this for my sister Grace (Clara) Merrick for her property borders just feet away on the Erin side of the Mitstifer Mine/gravel pit.  Grace is my sister and I am sending you our concerns because her computer and phone got hacked this week along with a bank account and she's spending a lot of time getting everything fixed.



Concerns and wanting TRANSPARENCY of the MITSTIFER MINE:

***THIS FIRST ONE IS A VERY SIGNIFICANT ISSUE! I noticed it right away and brought it to Supervisor Dave Lewis's attention and he passed it on to Town lawyer John Groff. This was after requesting to see documentation of paperwork submitted for the Mitstifer Mine. 


-*** Address/Property description of the mine shows 303 & 368 Benjamin Rd which is incorrect on the NOTICE OF COMPLETE APPLICATION (1st paragraph)

303 Benjamin Rd. is our niece A. & C. Friends and 368 is Grace Merrick's property that borders the Mitstifer mine. It is also shown on the Property Description Report.


- Erin Tax Roll shows AGDSTL306 is agriculture not commercial land


- What damage and what ROADS are going to be accessed to take the gravel/sand out?  BENJAMIN RD IS DIRT ROAD both ways! WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO ABOUT THE DUST and repairing huge potholes made from the heavy trucks? Can E. Sullivanville Rd. and JACKSON CREEK RD. withstand the heavy trucks?


- CAN "ALL" the BRIDGES WITHSTANDTHE WEIGHT?  July 5, 2023, WENY announced the bridge on Benjamin Rd.

(which is just below the MITSTIFER MINE/gravel pit), going over Bulkley Creek was granted by Chemung County $2.326 Million dollars to fix it! 


- Where is the entrance going to be for the MITSTIFER MINE?


- Is there going to be a scale to weigh and record the truck loads of gravel/sand going out?


- There has been NO transparency and no communication between Austin's Excavating & Paving, Inc and the surrounding neighbors of the MITSTIFER MINE


- There has been NO transparency and no communication between NYS DEPT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION and the surrounding neighbors of the MITSTIFER MINE


- Grace said, the only person that has come to ask questions was, Tract Engineering. They checked her well and asked how deep it was, which is approximately 36' deep. The man told her AUSTIN'S CANNOT DIG BELOW THE DEPTH OF HER WELL) or there could be a problem if they hit the water vein at all. Resident S. Garland at 490 E. Sullivanville Rd told me in late fall of 2021 her well suddenly became MUD! She has lived there over 60 years and never had a problem with the well.  Was there activity being done during this time at the MITSTIFER GRAVEL PIT?



 2) Would like to see a map showing where the actual mine will allow the permit 12.6 ACRES AND 31.2 acres

    (or is it 37.1 acres) Life of the sand/gravel Mine MAPS ARE NOT CONSISTENT.

 3) What is the buffer between Grace's boundary line and the MITSTIFER MINE?

 4) Are all the trees going to be removed between Grace's border affecting even more noise, dust and

    disturbing all the wildlife.  There are a lot of deer and turkeys?


- Grace's comment:  I have been used to having my windows open most of the time for all the FRESH AIR because Andy has Asthma and it helps his breathing.   With active daily mining Grace and neighbors will need to close windows due to the noise, dust, diesel fumes from the machinery used, noise grinding gravel noise, etc. This is my safe haven on a beautiful hillside in the country. If I wanted to live where there's lots of noise I would have moved in the city!


- Mandatory restrictions need to be put in place if they are going to work the gravel pit:

     1) WORK TIME starting at 9:00 AM and ENDING WORK TIME 5 PM

     2) ALL NOISE TO STOP for Lunch 12 NOON -1 PM

     3) Monday - Friday 


- ALL the surrounding neighbors including:  Benjamin Rd., Jackson Creek Rd. and Sullivanville Rd. should be made aware of the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT 


- Recommend DEC, and all town officials to visit the site to learn all details of the pros and cons of the MITSTIFER MINE before the approval of any mining so everyone can compare paperwork to the real site.






- Austin's have not been up front with any of the neighbors at all.  They have not spoken to any of us regarding a gravel pit/Mitstifer Mine being approved.


She and all of us neighbors have many more questions after reading over the FULL ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FORM PART 3 as follows: 


- 60,000 tons of unconsolidated loam underlain by gravel will be removed from the mine ANNUALLY, with an estimated life of the mine of 20 years


- 27.4 acres of forested land will be converted to grassland


- Impact of water...Grace Merrick's well is only approximately 36' deep.  WILL AUSTIN'S REPLACE HER WELL IF THEY HIT THE VEIN OF HER WELL WATER?


- Impact of Animals and Plants...DEC says not considered to be significant.  THERE'S LOTS OF DEER, TURKEYS, ETC. IN THE AREA.


- DEC said the new mine will have no off-site impacts on agricultural lands outside of the project area, AND IT SURE WILL!


- Impact of traffic! Approximately 2 trucks per HOUR are expected while the mine is operating. We would say that is a lot of extra traffic!


- Impact of hours would be from 7:00 am to 8:00 PM MONDAY - SATURDAY!!!!!!!   


- Impact of hours of NOISE just from the agriculture field used below the gravel pit was minimal not as stated above


- The gravel pit has always been a private one not an active one as stated above that will be a HUGE CHANGE to all involved


- Where are they going to put the entrance into the gravel pit? Above Grace Merrick's land?  2 different maps, one showing they didn't purchase the entrance way into the original gravel pit, still owned by Walter Mitstifer not involving the driveway Grace Merrick has used as long as  she has owned the property.   


- Impact on Air Quality...Grace Merrick's and Andy both have breathing problems already LEAVING THEIR WINDOWS OPEN FOR FRESH AIR




NOTE:  It is said in #9 Neither the Town of Erin nor the Town of Veteran RESIDENCE sent any comments or objections in response to the Department's April 18, 2022 date requested but how could anyone without knowing about it send a comment?  THIS IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE THINGS JUST TRYING TO GET SLID BY EVERYONE!  That is why it is so important to send comments to Frances Knickmeyer, Environmental Analyst by Friday, August 25th, 2023.  See above

email address.

Note:  I did indicate an email was needed for documentation on our website FB .  Phone calls are not accepted as documentation. I hope we can all come together to talk about this matter to have transparency!


Again, Thank you for taking the time to "Dig deeper in this matter".   It is very much appreciated by the entire neighborhood of Sullivanville Veteran and Erin area.


Please email us if you have any questions. 


Marlene Little,  Grace Merrick

Concerned Residents