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Guest Column: Landfill expansion mistaken

July 18, 2012

Editor’s note: The Winnebago County Board voted for the expansion of the landfill July 12 with a tally of 20 for and 3 against: Steve Schultz (R-2), Dave Fiduccia (R-4) and Wendy Owano (R-5) being the lonely three. Schultz is the only one of the three who made a statement, which is printed following this editor’s note.

Fiduccia and Owano were silent. Lynne Strathman (R-1) abstained because of a professional relationship, and Dorothy Redd (D-6), Joe Hoffman (D-11) and John Ekberg (R-10) were absent.

Oh, well, Rockford Blacktop/William Charles and the many affiliated companies and employees continue to dump the fear of their influence and campaign contributions all over the wimps in the county administration and on the county board.

The word is: get ready for a lawsuit from an interested party who feels their business and neighborhood will suffer because of this expansion and the exclusion and discouragement of development in the expansion area.

Wish that party well, because the Winnebago County courts suffer from the same fear dump.

Let’s hope the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is not under their dark cloud as well. The USEPA consideration may be our last hope to protect the watershed of the Kishwaukee River, one of only three “Class A” streams in Illinois, which the dump already challenges by its activities on the Kishwaukee tributary, Kilbuck Creek.

We proudly and with great admiration offer you Mr. Schultz’s lone voice of courage (below) for you. — Frank Schier, editor and publisher

By Steve Schultz
Winnebago County Board Member (R-2)

As was evident in the public hearing testimony, the proposed landfill expansion will undermine the I-39/Baxter Road development plans and the planning and financial investments that have been made to develop an attractive area for large distribution centers or other large industrial uses. That is why some of the key partners in developing the IJRA project zone are opposed to this expansion. This expansion is inconsistent with our desire to attract new businesses to this valuable economic area.

It is being argued that the expansion is needed based on local landfill needs. But we know that the bulk of the garbage that is filling our current landfill is not from our immediate area.

I am disappointed that we have argued for contradictory initiatives, depending on what was being discussed at the time. We have discussed limited facts as these pieces have come forward, without a consistent, comprehensive land-use plan for this area that is not at cross purposes with itself.

Let’s not waste the time, money, energy and economic opportunity that this unique intersection represents for future jobs for our county.

From the July 18-24, 2012, issue

One Comment

  1. John

    July 18, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Please, somebody, file a lawsuit. We need to stop this madness and it is quite clear that the Winnebago County Board dosen’t have the backbone to do so. All they see is Dollar Signs…the poorest excuse ever for a decision that impacts the quality of life in our county.

    Thank you to Wendy Owano for at least voting NO. It is too bad you didn’t break out of the Winnebago Republican Cult sooner. You might have been re-elected. But then again, you had some big shoes to fill. In spite of the hatred of others, Pete McKay would still be my choice to represent our district if he were here.

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