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RDA to eye options for landfill, Birdsall Edey

County redevelopment officials are discussing a solution for the Grunderville landfill site that could also help protect a historical resource in the county — Birdsall Edey.

The landfill has been closed since 1992 and funds were set side — the closure fund — to ultimately address the closure of the facility.

“Everyone had just accepted the status quo and just let it be on this site,” Eggleston said.

But in researching possible recycling solutions, it became apparent that the fund — in excess of $700,000 — could help cover the cost for recycling if the landfill could be closed.

“It’s been now almost 30 years since the site shut down,” he said. “Certainly, other landfills shut down much faster than 30 years.”

Both the landfill — and Birdsall Edey, a shuttered Girl Scout camp that dates to the 1930s — are on Allegheny National Forest property, through leased by the Solid Waste Authority and Girl Scouts, respectively.

“Through the discussions we’ve had them them,” Eggleston said, the ANF has kind of alluded to or put on the table us taking over the property, bequeathing it to us.

Suggesting that the ANF doesn’t have the resources to develop the sites, he said it “would be beneficial to transfer to someone who can actually do something with the property…. There’s some historic value to me to that area, as well.”

He asked the RDA for a letter that would, he said, initiate discussions about a potential transfer and told the RDA that the county has received a “green light” from the Department of Environmental Protection to continue with the closure. The most significant outstanding item, he said, is developing environmental covenants with the ANF for the long-term handling of the landfill.

He threw out several potential development ideas for the sites — ampitheater, frisbee golf, trails, rehabilitating the camp for camping use and a CCC museum.

“I see a mountain of opportunity,” he said. “It’s a really gorgeous spot. There’s always money at the state and federal level for these kind of projects. I think it creates a lot of potential for pulling down grant funds and doing something bigger with it.

“I think we can have a community-driven redevelopment project on the site,” he said, citing the easy access to the site from US 62.

“We have started talking to the county about the future of the Grunderville Landfill Site, including a possible transfer,” ANF Bradford District Ranger Rich Hatfield told the Times Observer. “For Birdsall Edey, I showed Commissioner Eggleston the site to see what ideas were out there for future management. We have not discussed transferring this site to the county.

“I definitely won’t say it’s a non-starter,” he added, regarding Birdsall Edey. “For both of these sites, everything on the table. The historical considerations of Birdsall Edey make a transfer much more complex.”

He said they’re researching the steps involved in a possible transfer of the landfill location.

“For both of these sites, I look forward to continue working with the County and the public on ideas for future management,” Hatfield said.

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