An important step in a proposal to build a garbage transfer station in Round Lake Park ended this week, although there still is time for interested parties to weigh in.
The required public hearing hosted by the Round Lake Park village board stretched about 40 hours over seven days and mainly consisted of lawyers questioning witnesses regarding the plan by Groot Industries Inc. for the Route 120 and Porter Drive.
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Groot wants permission to build a waste transfer station that could be allowed to operate 24 hours a day and accept a daily average of about 750 tons of trash. The details are outlined in a 1,215-page application filed with the village this summer.
In the quasi-legal proceeding, Round Lake Park heard evidence and testimony and must decide whether the application meets nine standards of local siting regulations.
Although the hearing is over, written or emailed public comments are being accepted through Nov. 1 and can be filed with the village clerk's office. Any additional legal briefs are due a week later, Nov. 8.
After that, hearing officer Phillip A. Luetkehans will make a recommendation to the village board, which is expected to render a decision by the end of the year.
Questions raised by neighboring communities or members of the public mainly dealt with property values, noise, odors and traffic.
"The village's official position is still that we object to the transfer station," said Round Lake Mayor Dan MacGillis. The village hired a lawyer to attend the sessions and is deciding its next step.
Hainesville Mayor Linda Soto submitted a letter expressing the village's "strong concern" about the traffic impact in the area. The neighboring Villas of Timber Creek mobile home park also had an attorney representing its interests.
"We're very comfortable with the record we've built," said Devin Moose, the chief engineer for the Groot proposal. He said there were no surprises in the questioning, but he thought there would be a larger public turnout.
"I expected more people to show up. There was plenty of opportunity," he said.
In his closing remarks, Luetkehans thanked attendees for being polite and professional. He also noted at least two or three village board members were at each session and described the village board's attentiveness as "exemplary".
Transcripts of the hearing, Groot's application and related documents are available at the village website, www.roundlakepark.us, and also at the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County website, www.swalco.org.