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Residents Protest Transfer Station at Village Meeting

Morton Grove village administrator presented information to quell fears and concerns regarding facility proposed by Lakeshore Waste Services, but speakers did not appear to be swayed.

More than 100 residents attended the Morton Grove board of trustees meeting Monday to learn more about a proposed transfer station at 6132 W. Oakton St. adjacent to the corporate headquarters of Lakeshore Waste Services

A presentation on the status of the potential project was given by Village Administrator Ryan Horne. The potential petitioner, Lakeshore Waste Services, has not submitted a formal application to move forward on the project.

Once that were to happen, it would take at least six months to move the project forward. 

Close to 20 people voiced their oppositon to the proposal during the public comments which lasted close to two hours, Horne said. 

"Everyone is feeling cheated that there wasn't enough infromation ahead of time about this issue," said Tom Maddex, a member of The Citizens to Stop the Morton Grove Transfer Station. 

Maddex said one bright spot in the meeting was when Trustee Daniel DiMaria suggested town hall meetings be held on the issue to keep residents more informed.  

"One of my problems was that our group was the one trying to tell people about this project; when I asked how many people at the meeting found out about it through the village website, no one raised their hands," Maddex said.

"When I asked how many were made aware [of it] by our group's communications, 80 percent of the hands were up in the air," he said. 

The Citizens to Stop the Morton Grove Transfer Station was formed in mid-July, .

"We started with a group of eight [homeowners] on Cleveland Ave., and decided we had to do something about this, because it really is in our backyard," Maddex said. 

People began asking how they could get involved and help us to make sure this transfer station does not come into the village, Maddex said. 

A former principal in Chicago who now lives in Morton Grove spoke in opposition of the project, according to Maddex, and said at the meeting if something like this happened near his former school, parents would be up in arms to protect their children.

"When the parents of Niles West Township High School learn about this project that would be located right near the high school, it's not going to be pretty," Maddex said.    

Another concern expressed was in regards to the size of land necessary for the transfer station, that would potentially handle 500 tons of waste a day. 

"Some of the residents did personal research and found such a transfer facility would required at least 10 acres of land," Maddex said.

Lakeshore Waste Services is situated on five acres, according to Horne. 

"Because a project of this type is handled by a regulatory agency [the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)], residents might not understand that we cannot take a stance on this," Horne said. 

"If the area is too small, I would think the EPA would not move foward with [Lakeshore's] the application," Horne said. 

Horne said what was in the village's power was to negotiate a safeguard by requiring Lakeshore, if they were to file an application and move forward with the project, to reimburse the village for all legal costs which could amount to close to $400,000. 

"I know residents were discouraged to learn the village has to remain neutral on this," Horne said. "We have no power to say no to it, due to it being overseen by the EPA." 

Horne admits there are strong emotional concerns about the issue, and said he understands why people are emotionally charged up about it. 

Concerns remain about increases in truck traffic, health hazards, the smell of garbage, lowering of property values and losing the character of Morton Grove by having a transfer station in the village, Horne said. 

Meanwhile, at least one of the residents opposed to this project doesn't appear to be backing down. 

"This is a battle that the residents will not allow [Lakeshore] to to win," Maddex said.  

GINGER August 14, 2012 at 05:30 PM
IMHO this entire situation is a farce. Similar to what happened with the MEC mosque. In the end, residence of MG had NO VOTE OR OPINION because of the law stating that it is illegal to discriminate. Personally, I have no objection to the MEC or any other religious structure in MG. I just feel (felt) that that location adjacent to several busy streets was not acceptable for a house of worship. I do have objection to a "transfer Station" due to 1. Trash & Trash smell, 2. Truck traffic, 3. Rats & bugs, 4. Property values, 5. Health risk 6. Aesthetics,. etc..... But it really matters not, because we must follow the law.
Joe August 14, 2012 at 05:33 PM
I think the idea that there is "much to learn" is so ridiculous. I can only hope you folks with these silly comments aren't at all residents, but rather people either working for or having something to gain by this project. How in the world can you even begin to accept that a business like this is good for the neighborhood? People at the meeting standing up for Morton Grove and its residents should be commended and thanked!! I am proud to call them my neighbors!! People reading these posts at all moved by the "May-Be-But-Probably-Are-Not Residents FOR garbage" should remember there are millions of dollars to be made, thus why not have posts supporting the project on the internet. Or at least saying "HEY, MAYBE THIS IS A GOOD THING FOR A NEIGHBORHOOD" There is nothing to do here but keep the fight going and do whatever we can to work together as a community to protect our home values, our health, and protect the good name of Morton Grove.
Joe August 14, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Your comparing a place of worship to a garbage site? What an ignorant comparison. Visit the local library in either Morton Grove or Skokie and learn about the wonders of diversity.
SuburbanMary August 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Lisa, I agree that those who went to the podium were eloquent and spoke from the heart. I never said the speakers were rude. I was disappointed by the jeering and booing of the audience members, especially those who yelled out from their seats and didn't bother to approach the podium. We teach our children to respect others and yet what I witnessed were adults that were openly disrespectful toward Mr. Horne and the Village Board.
Joe August 14, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Play fair? This is not a gentleman's game of chess. This is a major problem for those of us who live near the area, for the kids who go to school next door, and really for the whole community. There is no reason to PLAY FAIR and rather every reason to protect our homes and our families. Why do you think they are fighting so hard to get rid of the current dump in Evanston, and try to take advantage of a community like Morton Grove which is smaller and sadly does not seem to run as smoothly in many instances as it's neighbors? And YES we have to be mean about it!! Do you think that garbage company is looking to play fair or worries about the community? Can we put our entire faith in the government and wait and see what happens? PLEASE!!!
Joe August 14, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Mean spirited is NOT supporting the energy and outrage of the people most affected in the community by this proposal (The neighbors you have NEAR Oakton and Lehigh). Playing fair is NOT how business is done unfortunately, so residents have to fight if they do not want five acres plus of garbage in their backyard. If this proposal is approved, I will not let my two year old anywhere near this area and will move out before they dump their first rat in Morton Grove. I have that luxury to move and suffer the consequences of lost property value, but many of our neighbors do not have such a luxury. And many of them have children. So for them we FIGHT! We don't let the system play out and see what happens. That is a passive, foolish response. You fight for your home. You fight for your neighborhood. You fight for your neighbors. That company and all the people making money off this deal are HOPING we sit back and let the system play out.
cathy a whalen August 14, 2012 at 10:10 PM
Really Cynthia S. Do you live in the neighborhood that will be most affected by this GARBAGE TRANSFER STATION???
cathy a whalen August 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Any of the residents that are part of the committee to stop the garbage transfer site spoke very eloquently and with passion. They have no control over the actions that the rest of the audience display!!!!
sherwin dubren August 15, 2012 at 01:11 AM
By not doing even a reasonable job of notifying residents about this garbage project, the village government has shown us we cannot depend on them to look out for our interests. I think we need to turn to the EPA officials and our Congresspersons to help us with these issues. Even our State representatives might help. Has IDOT been informed about the huge amount of traffic to be going down Oakton should this garbage transfer facility come in. Cynthia is dreaming if she thinks Morton Grove officials will look out for our interests. They are desparate to bring in revenue, no matter what the consequences. Mayor Staackmann should check what the mayor of Evanston has said about this facility. No fence riding there or legal excuses. This thing has to be nipped in the bud. Not allowed to drag through the village committees wasting a lot of our time and energy on something the majority of residents don't want.
sherwin dubren August 15, 2012 at 03:28 AM
One last thought for Cynthia. I can just imagine her living at the time of the American Revolution standing around a group of people planning the Boston Tea Party. She would be saying, take it easy folks, no need to get worked up about your taxes. Just appeal to the British in a quiet and controlled manner and they will respond positively. Well, it didn't work then, and it won't work now. I am not advocating revolution or violence, but if people are angry about their government, they have a right to express their anger in not so quiet fashion.
Dan Goldberg August 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Morton Grove? Wait, what was that last one? I'm in total disbelief about the tenor of comments made on this site. Joe wrote "fight for your home and neighbors". Don writes about puppet governments and inexperienced staff. Sherwin is contradicting himself by talking revolution but not advocating violence but then saying it's OK to express anger? Haven't we learned enough about the dangers of anger with the recent incident at the mosque? If you're fighting for your life, family and civil rights in a lawless country that's one thing, but people - this is a suburban community in the USA! People have "fought" to make sure we have the right to vote people in or out of elected position who we feel best represent us. If you don't like those on the Board and think someone else could do a better job, then go run for office yourself. I'd look forward at comparing what you're all offering the public in comparison to those who are there now. Here's a thought, let's really "think" about a candidate's record and not let the mean and negative campaigns of national politics infiltrate us any more then they have. Maybe more reality, common sense and civility while considering our options? Bet those in some countries wish they had that chance. Cynthia S expresses what I truly hope is the majority opinion of our village. Sorry folks, if you want to fight that bad then enlist or go try some anger management classes.
Lizzy T August 15, 2012 at 12:20 PM
If Cathy is right and the people who spoke did so with eloquence and passion, that's good. I am looking forward to watching the meeting on TV to hear what everyone said. But these same committee members should be their responsible to lead their supporters, encouraging them to engage in proper civil discourse.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Obviously you DONT care about the people who live near this proposed sight, and you yourself live nowhere near Oakton and Lehigh either. What does Syria have to do with a garbage dump in your backyard? And the elected officials are in place, and really their reelection has nothing to do with NOW. We are voicing our concerns and are making it clear we wont let this process happen without whatever voice we can have. Enlist? Anger Management? What a ignorant response to people scared and angry about a five acre plus garbage dump in their backyard. Maybe we can get the location changed to your backyard, and then see where you stand.
Joe August 16, 2012 at 04:29 AM
Well said Don.. Although now I wont be able to sleep thinking about the Cicero reference!! :-)
sherwin dubren August 16, 2012 at 06:38 AM
Most knowledgable people know that the board has not approved the garbage transfer station. The village board made that very clear at their last meeting. What is upsetting people is that by passing this resolution back in March, the village opened the door to negotiations with Lakeshore Waste Services. They did not have to do that! What made matters worse is that they did not give the residents any heads up indications what the implicatioins of doing this would have. Their lack of concern for village residents and the reputation of the village should have made it clear to them that this was an important issue that needed resident inputs BEFORE they entered into any relationship with the trash company. Can we now trust the village to be more open about any future deals with this company or others? The village has their own method of handling such matters. Relying on village web sites and publications is not realistic. Holding hearings and Town Hall Meetings after the fact is meerly a charade giving the appearance that they really care about what residents think. To protect ourselves, I think residents have to turn to other governing bodies, such as the EPA, Congressmen, State Representatives, IDOT, etc. Start writing letters and make calls.
sherwin dubren August 16, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Again Cynthia, you are making remarks that you have no evidence to back up. There is no evidence that the mayor of Evanston started this move to Morton Grove. She did say she would be happy if it did move elsewhere and possibly to Morton Grove. You are making all these outlandish comments with no supporting evidence. The mayor of Evanston is not the only one in that suburb who would like to see the garbage transfer station removed. Resident there have been suffering with it for years and were picketing that facility to move out. I don't think you can shift any blame for our missfortune on her. Lets focus again on our own administration. I am wondering why you are so adamently defending the village administration here. Since you are not giving us any details of who you are, where you live, and what possible connections you have with the village authorities, I can only imagine.
sherwin dubren August 17, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Cynthia, I think you should read your own postings. Here is what you said, and I quote "Remember where the suggestion came from that a transfer station was coming to Morton– EVANSTON’S mayor" . You are saying that the Evanston Mayor was responsible for choosing Morton Grove for this station. That is not what she said. She would be happy if Morton Grove would take it, but she did not get the garbage company to consider Morton Grove. Big difference, but maybe it is beyond your comprehension to see it. All your comments about the behavior of the attendees at the Morton Grove meeting are grossly exagerated. Were there rumblings in the crowd? Yes, but no screaming or anything close to it. Your intention is to gag people so they cannot express their feelings. Some oif these feelings could have been vented at a Town Hall meeting preceeding the Village Board meeting, but that did not happen. Their offer comes a bit late and smacks of political maneuvering. Dan Di Maria, the trustee who proposed it, is running for mayor in the next election, so this was his way of gaining attention. Morton Grove continues to hide behind the legal gobelygook and won't commit to an agenda where they consider the residents before some measily income.
Tony Kovacs August 17, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Here is what I came away from the meeting with after listening to everyone and reading Patch comments. It might have been a good idea for people to vent their opposition and frustration but we must now move on. it was great to learn the specific legal steps in the whole application/approval process. It is not that important to know what if anything was discussed by the Village with Lakeshore Waste before. We wait for the formal application now and hopefully it will never be written. But if it is, we should at a public hearing document that the proposal represents at least a threat to public health and welfare which is a grounds for rejection. It must be so strong a documentation that it will stand up at appeals if the application is rejected by the Village Board. The Village Board must now remain neutral in word and deed as it is the "judge." A Town Hall would accomplish little as we have had heard the arguments and must now document the threat. The Village Board is aware now how unpopular this is and while they cannot say it-this might influence their thinking. Much of this is "legal fiction" but that is how the game is played. And talking about waste dumps in the "third world" as a very passionate speaker did is not what will win the game now. Emotion and blame must give way to detailed documentation at a public hearing to defeat the proposal if an application is received.
Noel Williams August 17, 2012 at 07:48 PM
1. In the search for truth and honest reporting, I uploaded some photos of an actual Waste Transfer Station. Why does the Patch show a photo of a truck? The subject is tons and tons of Garbage. 2. Why does Patch and other media and politicians call it a "transfer station" when in actuality it is a WASTE TRANSFER STATION. Does dropping the key word "waste" make the project more acceptable or mask the intention? There is a childrens' story about the king and his new clothes. The king was convinced by his "consultants" it was the latest fashion. However in the grand parade... what a surprise.. the clothes were " invisible " and the townsfolk saw how easily duped their king could be... as he was totally naked!
sherwin dubren August 17, 2012 at 10:57 PM
A public hearing has authority to pass or not pass on this garbage transfer station. They can make appeals to the trustees, but I have seen many times in the past where such appeals were for naught. Even the advise of village commisions has not been followed by the trustees. In my mind, not taking a stance on this acceptance is tantamont to accepting it. The trustees will excuse themselves and try to pass the blame off to the EPA or some other excuse to justify their vote. As I have said many times already, the best hope for stopping this garbage transfer station is to bypass the Morton Grove village board and go to the State and Federal authorities to deny this company a permit.
sherwin dubren August 17, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Should have read "A public hearing has no authority to pass or not pass...".
Gail Simone August 22, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I, like many other residents, was not able to attend this meeting. I was able to read the postings on the Village's website and I would encourage others to do the same. From what I heard, there are a lot of hot tempers. I don't blame anyone for that, but now that everyone has had their say, what do we do now? I don't think the Village can outlaw a dumping station, especially since the State regulates all this, and from what I understand, asking the Trustees to rescind the Host Agreement only eliminates Lakeshore's obligation to reimburse the Village for expenses related to the very tedious, legally required public hearings.
sherwin dubren August 22, 2012 at 04:59 AM
If anything can be garnered from the events so far, it would be the lack of concern for the well being of the residents of Morton Grove. This village board and mayor are more worried about expenses and law suits than what is best for the residents. Giving the garbage company the signal that the village would even consider such an abhorent facility should tell us that they are not to be trusted to protect us. Evanston, on the other hand has had lot's of support from their trustees and mayor, so that the garbage company has gotten the message that they are not welcome there. What can we do at this point. In the short term, I would contact our federal and state elected officials to intervene on our behalf with the EPA It seemed to work when John D'Amico helped the residents to keep preserve one of our parks and keep another car dealership off of Waukegan Rd. In the long term, we should think about replacing the mayor and three of the trustees in the upcoming election.
Dan Goldberg August 22, 2012 at 11:18 AM
"Enough garbage representing the village and we don't need anymore?" A little harsh considering nobody voted for it yet isn't? So Don are you (and Sherwin) running for the job? If so, would like to see your qualifications other than hurling insults and false information which your buddy Mr. D does so well. End home rule, so you'd rather have our wonderful state of IL have more control of Morton Grove; they've done such a good job so far! Tell me Don, if the trustees keep this from happening and it comes out they were protecting us all along, are YOU going to apologize to them? Like RATIONAL people, I'm going to follow this. IF the those on the board do something unacceptable, THEN I'll make a decision. But you and your mentor Sherwin should consider holding off sharpening your knives for a while. Hopefully you two will get the facts straight, but sadly you have other agendas that have nothing to do with facts do you?
mg879 August 22, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Don, you have a lot of facts muddled up. The host agreement does not allow for an application to be made by the waste company. They could submit one with no agreement. The host agreement was done to protect the village's interests. IF an application is filed, it outlines a specific process that must be followed, which includes months in which the public can make statements to be considered, and it makes the waste company pay for all legal costs during that process. During that whole process to make that agreement, all the information was posted for the public. There is a process - the agrement is introduced at one meeting for a public reading, then there is a second reading at a later date. All the while the information is made public, and the public can comment on it at the meetings. Then there is a vote. You can go back to the meeting minutes and read all about it. There was no "extreme lack of transparancy" just an extreme lack of responsiblity by you as a citizen for not paying attention. Oh, and by the way, if you paid any attendtion to the presentation at that meeting, you would have seen there are waste facilliites of various types all across the north shore, including Wilmette, Northbrook, Highland Park, and more.
Joe August 23, 2012 at 02:34 AM
People like Cynthia S. and D. Goldberg must really get a good salary from the garbage company.. Or is it a kickback to a loved one?? Either way hopefully you don't trick anyone into believing the nonsense you continue to spew everyday. The REAL residents of MG will continue to battle this project!!
Dan Goldberg August 23, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Again with the personal and unfounded attacks...must mean you're running out any real arguments eh? Sorry Joe, you seem to be the one spewing the hate and misinformation along with Don and then there's Sherwin with a long history here of doing so. I hope you all find some peace in your life and stop looking so hard for a fight. Will you all also issue an online apology to everyone if we find out that the village board was following a proper path to do what's best for the village? If they don't, show they acted in our best interests, then I will apologize to you and the rest of the readers too. I think the REAL residents of Morton Grove know just what you, Don and Sherwin are all about. Stop the hate friends, it will kill you in the end. PEACE!
Lizzy T August 23, 2012 at 10:57 AM
I don't want a garbage station, but condeming these particular village board members for something that hasn't happened and other problems not of their making is not right either. It was the last group under Mayor Krier and his party who stopped the OTB, which is now making money for Niles, not these people. End home rule, what does that mean? Would the state run us then? If so, then we'd be in a real pickle seeing how well they're doing. We didn't need referendums, we just simply voted in new officials to have our voices heard. I wish people would get all their facts straight and remember the golden rule about how to treat and expect to be treated by others. Too many nasty comments here lately and so needlessly bitter. It is just a shame and so embarrasing to see how people act these days, always trying to use rude comments to make a point and belittle others who don't follow their attitudes. Shame on you all, if I were your mother I'd be washing your mouths out with soap!
sherwin dubren August 23, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Lizzy, there is no shame in pointing the finger at those responsible for this mess. At this point, I would trust the state and federal governments before our village officials. Your stupid remarks about washing out mouths indicates you have no clue as to what is going on in the village and you are probably a person of questionable intelligence.
Lizzy T August 23, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Sherwin, I'm keeping a big bar just especiallyfor you. You might want to try reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" someday. Calling others stupid, clueless and of questionable intelligence just proves to me, and I would hope many others, what kind of person you truly are. Shame on you Mr. Dubren! I pity you but I will pray for you too!

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