Video: City Council Meeting of 9/3/09; Landfill Issues

Here is a complete video of the 9/3/09 meeting of Northampton’s City Council. This video is 2 hours 23 minutes long and was recorded by Mimi Odgers of Water Not Waste.


Video highlights:

Mimi Odgers speaks in the public comment period. She objects to the wording of a landfill ballot question proposed by Councilors Jim Dostal, Bob Reckman and Paul Spector (see below).

0:25:36-0:31:00… Steve Susco speaks on his efforts to resolve longstanding problems with sewage backing up into his home on Bridge Road. See additional details at Northampton Redoubt.

0:43:05-1:36:50… Attorney Thomas Mackie presents the rationale for the city settling with certain neighbors of the Northampton landfill. See the text of the settlement agreement.

Here is the official agenda of the meeting:

Here is the landfill ballot question as proposed by Councilors Dostal, Reckman and Spector:

See also:

Sunday Republican: “Private session shows landfill strategy” (9/6/09)
The controversy arose upon the release of the minutes of [the May 18, 2009 executive] session [regarding the landfill settlement]. At-Large Councilor Michael A. Bardsley questioned the thoroughness of the minutes and said that council secretary Mary L. Midura had destroyed her more extensive notes at [City Solicitor Janet M.] Sheppard’s request. Sheppard subsequently resigned as city solicitor, saying that the matter had become a distraction from “the real issues” of the mayoral campaign.

Gazette: “Light on landfill session” (9/4/09)
…the mayor has said she hoped to show residents how the council came to its decision to borrow $1.2 million to buy two homes near the Glendale Road landfill and settle related lawsuits filed against the city over landfill operations…

Jo-Anne Bessette, of 228 Sylvester Road, did not sign off on the agreement…

[Said Ward 6 City Councilor Marianne LaBarge,] “Nothing is settled. We still have problems with people and their properties.”

Final Settlement Agreement to Purchase Homes by Landfill, May 2009

Video: Ordinance Committee Meeting of 8/31/09; Best Practices; Ballot Questions

Video: Special Meeting of the Board of Public Works and the City Council, 8/21/09; Landfill Ballot Question No. 2
The claim that there will be “no new environmental risk for the city” seems scientifically impossible. As noted at Zero Waste America, “even the best liner and leachate collection system will ultimately fail due to natural deterioration.” It might be plausible to claim the environmental risk from landfill expansion is small, but it’s not zero.

Key Portions of the Solid Waste Management Alternatives Study
A critical element missing from the study is an estimate of the value of Barnes Aquifer water at risk from contamination due to landfill expansion. Neither the words “Barnes” nor “Aquifer” appear anywhere in the study.

Water Not Waste Seeks Signatures, Donations
Water Not Waste has launched a campaign to put the following non-binding question on the November ballot:

“Shall the City of Northampton expand the Northampton landfill over the Barnes Aquifer?”

You may download the petition signature form here.

Paradise City Forum: Landfill and Aquifer

Department of Public Works: Landfill Documents

Northampton Solid Waste Alternatives Google Group