Elkhart Truth Logo
Thursday, April 17, 2014

Earthmovers gets OK to excavate soil for capping landfill

The Elkhart County Board of Zoning Appeals granted a special use permit Thursday, Nov. 21, to allow Earthmovers Landfill LLC to excavate dirt at a property south of Elkhart.

Posted on Nov. 21, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Nov. 21, 2013 at 3:21 p.m.

GOSHEN — Owners of a company that operates a landfill south of Elkhart are ready to get their hands dirty.

Waste Management of Indiana, also known as Earthmovers Landfill LLC, has been approved for a 10-year special use permit that will allow the company to excavate soil from a 65-acre property on the northeast corner of C.R. 9 and C.R. 26. The soil will be used to cap a nearby landfill operated by Earthmovers southwest of the excavation site.

The Elkhart County Board of Zoning Appeals held a public hearing Thursday, Nov. 21, where neighboring landowners spoke out against Earthmovers’ plans.

“The residents in this area, landowners in this area, have had to deal with a good bit of penalty for being close to this thing,” said Tim Howard, who lives near the future excavation site. “The dirt on the streets if you drive down C.R. 26 on a rainy day is like a dirt road. You can’t keep a car clean.”

Howard and his wife have owned a property east of the land where Earthmovers plans to excavate soil for 12 years. Howard said he was told that the landfill would be closed by now.

Tammy Perkins, a consultant for Earthmovers, told the county board that the life of the landfill was extended because of fluctuating waste intake rates. She estimated that the landfill will be retired in about 10 years.

The excavation will result in a 30-acre hole up to 25 feet deep that Perkins said would be turned into a pond. The property may be donated for nonprofit or public use once excavation is complete, according to conditions in Earthmovers’ special use permit.

Jon Grove, who lives near the northern part of the Earthmovers excavation site, said his top concern is declining property values.

“I spent 45 minutes to an hour online, and I found dozens and dozens of articles and surveys from professional real estate appraisers that have similar situations with excavation sites going in a neighborhood and property values decreasing anywhere from 25 to 60 percent because of that,” Grove said. “I’m not prepared to lose tens of thousands of dollars of my property value because of this site going in.”

Earthmovers will buffer the northern and western borders of the property with evergreen trees, and work equipment — bulldozers, excavators and haul trucks — will not be stored on the property, Perkins said. Excavation will not happen daily, but the hours of operation will be limited to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, she added.

 In this March 25, 2014 photo, a worker watches over a hydraulic fracturing operation at an Encana  Corp. gas well, near Mead, Colo. In the background is a tall canvas wall around the perimeter of the extraction site, which mitigates noise, light and dust coming from the operation during the drilling and completion phase, which generally takes a few weeks. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
By BRENNAN LINSLEY Associated Press
Posted 40 minutes ago
 In this photo taken Wednesday, April 16, 2014, a female member of an Israeli and foreigner's group tour that is organized by IPCRI, an Israeli Palestinian group promoting co-existence, listens to a Palestinian guide while visiting the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah. This bustling center of Palestinian life is just a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem, but for Israelis it might as well be on the other side of the world. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
By KARIN LAUB Associated Press
Posted 40 minutes ago
Back to top ^