Tonawanda crematory loses in court, neighbors celebrate


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A state judge denied a request from the Amigone family to re-open their Town of Tonawanda crematory that has been closed for nearly 4 years, under an agreement between the Amigones and the state.

State Supreme Court Justice Jeannette Ogden ruled terms of the pact, called an Assusrance of Discontinuance are still in effect, and granted the State Attorney General’s request to add conditions to it, including a requirement that Amigone get a new state permit.

Attorneys for the two sides clashed in front of a courtroom, Tuesday afternoon, packed with neighbors of the Tonawanda crematory, former New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco argued the Amigone family had met all the conditions, set 4 years ago, that are necessary to reopen the crematory.

Assistant Attorney General Jane Cameron, argued the crematory had violated the AOD and called for the Amigones to obtain an additional state facilities permit. Ogden agreed with the Attorney General and granted the state’s motion.

Neighbors, including Neal Hodgson, were delighted with the ruling, “This is a win for us, and it is a win for our neighborhood.”

Hodgson talked about how the neighborhood is changing, “We’ve got so many new families that have moved in, and the strollers are coming out, and the kids are walking and playing in the playground so they can be in a non-polluting environment, which is fantastic.”

Vacco was clearly unhappy with Ogden’s ruling, “They have no new evidence. So why would they ask for a special facility permit when nothing has changed since they entered into this agreement, where they didn’t ask for that permit?”

The Amigones’ attorney added, “where the state wants us to be is on a procedural treadmill,” and strongly suggested he will recommend the family appeal the ruling.

Shortly after the ruling, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement that said, in part, “the ruling sends the message that companies whose facilities pollute our neighborhoods will be held accountable.”

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