The old Settler's Hill landfill in Geneva will have to get a lot dirtier before Kane County Forest Preserve commissioners can create a new cross country course.
But with plans for the cross country facility and an update to the adjacent golf course now in harmony, dirt is exactly what's on commissioners' minds.
It will take up to 300,000 yards of additional soil on the old Settler's Hill landfill to construct the new cross country course. The only question is where that dirt will come from.
Members of the forest preserve commission's Executive Committee learned Tuesday that architects and land planners have removed all the conflicts between the golf course and cross country facility. The revised plans will result in less earth work at the site, meaning the cross country facility should be open for use sooner rather than later.
Accomplishing that goal means altering the topography of the former landfill, which will require review by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
The agency must also agree to permit a temporary clean fill and demolition debris operation at the site. Such an operation would involve trucking in clean, excess soil and project materials from nearby construction sites.
The forest preserve district would take the materials, charge the contractors a fee for handling the refuse, and then use the soil and debris to form the cross country facility. The money collected by the fee would pay for most of the necessary grading of the site, said Commissioner Mike Donahue, who represents the area in which the landfill is located.
"We need dirt for the project," Donahue said. "That's one thing we all need to be thinking about. We had a slide slope, and we have to have a level trail for the course. Just creating a flat trail on the hillside is where you get your fill requirements."
The trick is finding enough construction projects near Settler's Hill to attract the necessary amount of clean fill. The proposed Longmeadow Parkway project, near the McHenry County border, is seen as being too far away.
Donahue said county officials surveyed all nearby clean fill operations in recent months. The survey showed more than a dozen operations attracting up to a total of 2.2 million yards of clean fill, even during the some of the worst months of the recession. Because of that, Donahue said he is confident Settler's Hill can attract enough soil if the fee charged to contractors is reasonable.