One week ago, negotiations between Kane County and Waste Management officials about the future redevelopment of Settler's Hill were down in the dumps. This week the old trash of local residents once again appears ready to become a new treasure.
Discussions about future reuse of the landfill stalled for months with Waste Management officials wanting the county to assume more or all of the potential liability involved with increased public access to the site. Last week, Kane County Board member Mike Donahue classified Waste Management officials as "not motivated to uphold the promises it made to the people of Kane County more than 30 years ago."
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Those public comments resulted in a new meeting with Waste Management this week that now has Donahue more optimistic about seeing progress on the redevelopment of the old landfill site.
"I would characterize the discussion as generally productive," Donahue said of the meeting. "I believe the representatives from Waste Management commented to me that they were looking forward to getting things back on track and moving forward in a positive direction."
A positive direction, from Donahue's perspective, entails finalizing any amendments to the legal agreements governing the responsibilities of both parties during and after redevelopment by May.
Then Donahue will push for a mutual agreement on golf course improvements and submitting of permits by July 1 for the creation of a cross country course. And, for the first time, Donahue said he wants to see the creation of a simple footpath that would allow public access to the summit of the landfill by the end of this year.
There are 11 possible redevelopment projects that might occur on the 700-acre campus. Waste Management has not yet engaged in conversations about any of the projects beyond the golf course and cross country track. Donahue said those additional projects will be evaluated and discussed, one at time, with full public input.