Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Sludge pit foes pack meeting


Fairfield may reject waste plan after outcry

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FAIRFIELD - Council appears ready to listen to the protests of dozens of residents against a proposal from Greater Cincinnati Water Works to put a 9-acre sludge pit for lime waste behind some of the city's most expensive homes.

About 50 residents packed council chambers Tuesday to show their opposition as council held the second reading on the sludge pit. Most council members have said they will not support the proposed lime/sludge landfill, which would be located on property owned by the Greater Cincinnati Water Works.

Water Works officials want to build the pit at the water plant on River Road, which serves northern Hamilton County. City Council will vote on the issue at its next meeting, Oct. 28. Members are expected to reject a construction permit.

“The citizens have made it perfectly clear we are concerned with the obvious negative ramifications of a landfill and that it could lead to additional landfills in the future,” said Gregory Sunday, vice president of the Monastery Homeowners Association. “The citizens have paid severely to fight this issue.”

Greater Cincinnati Water Works' operations include water supply and treatment for the city, most Hamilton County communities and a portion of Clermont, Butler and Warren counties.

Water Works officials maintain that the pit is the best environmental solution and would keep the waste on their property instead of trucking it down Fairfield streets.

But the pit would go about a third of a mile behind some of the city's most expensive homes, which average $300,000 in sale price.

The city's planning commission last month approved the pit with 16 conditions, which include requiring Water Works to preserve 1,000 feet directly west of one subdivision as green space.

Water Works also was to install a 6-foot-high chain link fence with locked gates around the site, which would have been inspected semiannually.

Water Works officials have said that if the pit were rejected they would hope to work out the dispute with Fairfield, and do not foresee suing the city to build the pit on Water Works property. City Councilman Jeffrey Holtegel, who approved the pit Sept. 25 as a member of the planning commission, said in a letter read in his absence Tuesday that he now does not support the pit.

Mr. Holtegel plans to vote against it.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com



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