Final statements in the controversial Winnebago landfill expansion have been filed. They're now being reviewed by a hearing officer who has seven days to give his recommendation on the matter to the county board.
parties have been named in the hearing; they're the Villages of Cherry Valley
and New Milford, the City of
The earliest a vote could happen is next month. An important distinction in this process is that board members are acting as judges and by law aren't allowed to speak with the public about the expansion.
can't bring in any other extraneous information, evidence," said
of the landfill expansion has been a contentious issue for people all over
The number one issues for people who live near the landfill, is it's smell. Something they fear will only get worse if the expansion is approved.
"It gets so rotten," said Ralph Morgan who lives near the landfill.
"No one wants to smell that, no one wants to smell a dump in their back yard," said Tab Connors, who also lives near the landfill.
even say odors from the landfill in southern
"Some nights it gets so bad that we try to sleep with the windows open, and you have to get up and shut the windows because you cant sleep," said Irene Beadle.
husband says the smell isn't just limited to the area near the landfill, he can
smell it from half way across
"I've been out as far as Clock Tower [Resort] and smelled that odor," said Gary Beadle.
Landfill operators say the waste that generated the smell, which was from construction sites, hasn't been allowed in for years. And that extra steps are being taken to damper the smell.
"Last year we capped that landfill, expanded the gas collection system to help contain the odors," said Rock River Environmental Services president and CEO John Lichty.
Another sticking point: the amount of outside trash accepted into the landfill.
Lichty says they take in between 3 to 4 thousand tons of trash a day from places outside the county. In 2011 the county got over 3-million dollars in host fees from imported trash.
"The county as stewards of it, over 3 million dollars per year, have spread that around and used it for economic development when it comes to cultural and tourism activities," said Lichty.
Still, some say the money being generated from the dump simply isn't worth it.
"We're putting money ahead of our health and our well being," said Morgan.
without the host fees
"Some of the projects they funded in the last 4 or 5 years never would have happened without the host fees," said Lichty.
Winnebago County Board members will consider only the public testimony on record that was given earlier this year, as well as the nine criteria that must be met before an expansion could be improved. That includes health concerns as well as minimizing the effect on surrounding property values.
All testimony has been posted to the Winnebago County Clerks website.