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Commissioners to discuss landfill future

County officials are planning a meeting with the Department of Environmental Protection and Allegheny National Forest aimed at finalizing the closure of the Grunderville Landfill.

Warren County Commissioner Jeff Eggleston raised the meeting during the commissioner’s work session on Monday.

He said the meeting would include County Planner Dan Glotz, DEP, ANF as well as the environmental consultant doing the work to finalize the closure.

“(We are) very close to having that completed,” he said of the closure process.

Eggleston said the remaining steps include addressing the non-industrial development issues — such as keeping up with the mowing and sorting out whether the property would be transferred or leased and for how long.

“Once we have those things, (we) will be able to close that site down completely,” he said, noting the final report from the consultant is also expected to be presented soon.

While the landfill has been functionally closed for decades, final closure would release over $500,000 in closure funding and county officials have discussed using a portion of that funding to start a county-wide recycling facility at the county warehouse on US 6 in Starbrick.

There are technically two parts to this initiative — formally closing the landfill and then moving ahead with development of the site.

Back in October, the commissioners allocated $10,000 in Act 13 funds to use as matching funds to go after a state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources planning grant to develop a conceptual plan for the Grunderville Landfill and Girl Scout Camp at Birdsall Edey.

A number of possible options for the future are identified in that proposal — river access, an amphitheater, disc golf, redevelopment of the cabins, organized sport fields, walking routes, parking and restrooms, among other things.

Eggleston said the two steps — closure and the real estate issue — could possibly occur at the same time.

He said it would be easier if the property was transferred to the county Redevelopment Authority with covenants regarding use.

“That’s part of what we’re trying to discuss, making sure everybody is on the same page with that,” he added, explaining he is trying to gauge how quickly the ANF might transfer the property.

“If it’s going to take a long time for that to happen, (we) would have a conversation about a permit that is written for the site.”

In other business, Commissioner Ben Kafferlin said the commissioners are “kind of hitting reset” on projects for 2021 given the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

He said he will be presenting the state of the county speech in a few weeks on a date yet to be determined.

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