CRESTON — The Creston Village Board approved a series of agreements at its Tuesday meeting that would result in the Rochelle Landfill closing by or on Dec. 31, 2040.
The landfill would close earlier if there is no remaining capacity. In order to ensure that there is no remaining capacity, the annual limit for waste that can be disposed of at the landfill would increase to 650,000 tons per year.
The agreement is conditioned upon the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency granting a final and non-appealable order to eliminate the need to exhume cell one of the Rochelle Landfill.
Both the village and the City of Rochelle engaged an expert to review the need for exhumation and found there is currently no leakage from the landfill and exhumation would not be needed, Creston Village Attorney Dave Tess said.
The City of Rochelle will need to approve that agreement and two others at its Monday meeting for the plan to move forward, Tess said. All agreements are contingent upon each other. All must pass or all fail. An IEPA approval process will also follow that would take eight months to a year.
As part of the landfill agreement, the village will receive approximately 124 acres of land east of the current landfill. 83 acres of that was farmland the village sold to the operator. It will also get money from the landfill operator, Tess said. As part of the agreement, there would not be a new landfill within five miles of the village limits of Creston.
If the need to exhume cell one is eliminated, the City of Rochelle will not have to expend $850,000 for its portion of the exhumation costs. The agreement would also eliminate the city’s responsibility to pay $750,000 towards the Mulford Road improvements. Lastly, the operator will make a payment of $1.46 million to the city and a donation of $40,000 to the Rochelle Area Community Foundation.
“This doesn’t happen without strong leadership from both communities,” Tess said. “It’s been a 3-4-year-long process. It started with reviewing and obtaining reports on what the right thing is to do. I want to make it clear, to do this and what Rochelle will do, a strong consideration was given to possible environmental impact.”
The second agreement Creston approved and Rochelle will vote on Monday involves an intergovernmental agreement between the two municipalities that ensures that both take the necessary steps to bring the landfill deal to fruition.
The third agreement Creston approved involves jurisdictional boundary lines. The village and Rochelle have been working on that type of deal for 20 years, off and on, Tess said. It would allow for both municipalities to know where lines are and smoother development to take place.
Under the agreement yet to be approved by its city council, Rochelle would have the land west of Mulford Road and Creston would have land east of Mulford Road. The section between Interstate 39 and Mulford Road would be a shared revenue district.
For the recently-built Pilot Travel Plaza, Rochelle will pay Creston $500,000 after the city has been reimbursed for the amount of its infrastructure costs from all revenue derived from the plaza no later than 5 years after the agreement.
Creston will get 25 percent of the tax revenues going forward in the shared revenue district.
“We think this all really benefits the village,” Creston Village President Tom Byro said. “Creston is right there, why can’t we get benefits off that land? We think it’s a good one. It’s a 20-year agreement. It’s a benefit for both entities. More businesses could pop up there. We want Creston to have a say so. It’s within a mile and a half of Creston.”