The 123-acre PCD Puri/Cannell approved by the Winnebago County Board of city dwellers is a continuing puzzle to those who live here.
I spoke with several chemists about the heavy metal and toxins that were approved to be spread on the property by IEPA. They gave some interesting information. The first bit was presented to the ZBA on the night they rejected the Puri/Cannell proposal 5-0. The sandy soil will be a good diffuser for the liquids spread on the land. As a matter of fact, the EPA stopped spreading in 1982 for just that reason. They told the South Beloit sewerage department that these liquids may get into the ground water and eventually to the well water levels. There was a letter written in 1982 and read at the ZBA meeting that also stated the same. This was apparently not reviewed by the Zoning Committee or the Winnebago County Board members in their approval of the special use permit.
The second bit of information is an analogy so the Winnebago County Board members may understand. The soil is like a balloon filled with water. The water represents all the chemicals that have filtered through the sandy soil to bedrock or some harder surface underground but above the aquifer. Now all we have to do is take a pin and punch 112 holes in the balloon, (and for clarification to the County Board, these 112 holes represent wells.) The water will drain from the membrane into the aquifer, and all the wells in the aquifer will be contaminated. I really wish the County Board members would have reviewed the hours of testimony prsented to the ZBA. Who knows, these city dwellers may have understood why the Winnebago County Board of Health said that lot sizes must be 5 ACRES on this type of soil. Keep the skids greased! Now this new board at the County Health says 1 acre is sufficient. The lot sizes around the PCD vary from 5-30 acres based mainly on the previous demands. Developers must be satisfied by our board members and, hence, the reduction to 1 acre.
The Winnebago County Mission statement: It is our mission to provide high quality services and promote a safe community for all people in Winnebago County. Who are you going to tax to fix the aquifer for Winnebago County, Mr. and Mrs. board members? It was also stated by the Winnebago County Health Department back in 1982 that he who owns the contaminated land is responsible for cleanup. Why is our County Board so quick to pass this on to the individual future homeowners? Keep the skids greased!!
Richard O. Ott is a resident of Rockton.
From the July 19-25, 2006, issue