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Briella TomassettiMay 17, 2017, 10:07 pmMay 18, 2017, 7:31 am

North Hempstead undecided on fate of controversial mason supply company

Roslyn Heights residents get into heated debate over masonry that some claim is emitting harmful chemicals

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An ongoing battle between the Powerhouse Mason Supply and its neighbors in Roslyn Heights created a heated debate that continued for several hours at a town board meeting on Wednesday.

Testimony from both sides was not convincing enough for the town board to make a final decision on what to do about the masonry so the future of the business has been left up in the air.

"This is a retail business with outdoor storage. It's not an industrial business. They sell stones," said Bruce Migatz, the Powerhouse Masonry Supply’s attorney.

Lawyer Bruce Migatz insists that the masonry doesn't cut up stones on its property but the town recently cited the business for not complying with zoning codes, meaning it has been operating illegally.

Neighbors agree that the company does not comply with town codes but they have even bigger complaints.

"The runoff from that site is going to go right into the storm system,” Brandon Osman said.

"This is a health concern, not only for me. There are kids. This is a neighborhood,” said Doctor Shah Giashuddin. “You are exposing your kids to this kind of notorious, bad air."

Dr. Giasshuddin says the masonry emits a harmful chemical called crystalline silica. According to the National Cancer Institute, that toxin can cause lung cancer if inhaled in large amounts.

While residents went face to face with the masonry, town board members remained quiet and attentive and would not give a statement on why they chose to withhold a decision.

Communications Director Carol Trottere says that cases this complicated usually aren't resolved at the first appeal and that town board members will need more time to discuss the issue.

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