Landfill info on June 22 agenda - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Landfill info on June 22 agenda

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Posted: Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:00 pm

Information about a proposed commercial landfill and its related impacts is being presented to the Marana Town Council in a special meeting next Tuesday, June 22.

The 6 p.m. study session is open to the public.

Identified speakers are Clint Glass of CMG, addressing floodplain and surface hydrology concerns; Mark Cross of Montgomery & Associates, talking about subsurface water quality concerns; Alejandro Angel of Psomas & Associates, detailing traffic concerns; and James Harris of Coffman Associates, exploring airport concerns. They are each consultants to the town.

Town officials are seeking someone to address health concerns, according to Marana public information officer Rodney Campbell.

Tuesday's session is intended "to provide an overview of the current solid waste services, as well as a summary of the proposed project," according to an as-yet unapproved town council agenda.

Each speaker is presenting findings, and answering questions from the council. They may be directed to seek additional information, the unofficial agenda indicates.

In May, the Marana Town Council approved annexation of approximately 1,200 acres of land north of Avra Valley Road. Within that parcel is a piece of ground owned by Vice Mayor Herb Kai. He is in discussions with DKL Holdings, which wants to locate a commercial landfill on 430 acres of the annexed parcel.

Town government must still consider a zoning change and specific plan amendment for the landfill property.

For months, opponents of the commercial landfill have engaged the town council in largely civil, if disagreeing, discourse. On June 1, the tone had a different air.

"I want to dispel any beliefs that we shouldn't be speaking at town council meetings because we are not Marana citizens," said Pam Ruppelius. She said a council member, who she did not name, had suggested as much.

"You benefit from our taxes. In reality, we pay for services within Marana," Ruppelius said. "We will continue to spread the word about this proposed landfill."

Councilwoman Carol McGorray voted against annexation of the parcel on May 18, winning "tremendous, I repeat, tremendous, support," Silverbell West resident Steve Storzer said. "She followed the will of the people. That's commendable. Maybe she will be the next mayor."

On May 18, "some council members tried to rationalize their approval of the annexation because it was only about the annexation, and not the landfill," said Storzer, who challenges such rationalization. "You all knew what the annexation was about," he said. "It's the next step towards getting your landfill.

"You work for the people. You don't work for DKL," and "respectfully, you do not work for Mr. Kai," Storzer said.

"I voted for that land to be annexed, period, that's all it was," Councilwoman Roxanne Ziegler said.

And, she told Storzer, "if you knew me, you would not be reminding me who I work for."

"None of us want the smokescreen 'we only voted on the annexation of land,'" Melissa Rohlik told the council. "We all know the big picture."

Ziegler said she is counting on the regulators "to be the experts" as the proposal moves forward. "Those are the guys I'm going to have to put my faith in," she said. It's a "huge list," approaching two dozen agencies.

"I don't think they can get through it," Ziegler said of DKL and the permitting process. "There are so many places that could shut this whole thing down. If they can get through it, well, more power to them."

Councilman Jon Post, who rarely addresses a comment from the audience, said he'd read e-mails from landfill opponents, but rarely responds. "I listen to you," Post said. "But I'm going to give the opposition that same courtesy I give you. I hope you understand that."

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