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County executive opposes transfer station proposal


By BILL MILLIGAN

For the Call

A solid-waste transfer station proposed on Old Baumgartner Road in Oakville picked up another opponent last week as a spokesman for County Executive George R. "Buzz'' Westfall said the county executive would not support the proposal.

"Buzz has said this issue has generated more controversy than any other during his term as county executive,'' Westfall spokesman Mac Scott told the Call.

Fred Weber Inc. has submitted applications to the St. Louis County Department of Health and to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to operate the solid-waste transfer station on a 4.4-acre site comprised of three parcels at 664 Old Baumgartner Road, 5219 Baumgartner Road and 5211 Baumgartner Road.

More than 1,500 residents voiced their opposition to the proposal during a June 19 public hearing sponsored by the county Department of Health at Oakville Senior High School and shouted down the lone speaker — attorney Albert Michenfelder — who was representing of F. W. Dis-posal, a subsidiary of Fred Weber Inc.

"This transfer station is not part of the solid-waste disposal problem — it is part of the solution,'' Michenfelder told health department officials at the public hearing. "This transfer station should eliminate the need for a south county landfill in the future.''

But residents opposed to the proposal contend the solid-waste transfer station is too close to residential properties and would increase traffic, decrease property values and create a noxious odor.

Besides the county, approval is needed from the state to operate the solid-waste transfer station.

A second public hearing on the proposal will be conducted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources' Solid-Waste Management Program from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, July 14, at the Oakville Senior High gymnasium, 5557 Milburn Road.

An open house will be conducted from 6 to 7 p.m. and residents can speak individually with department staff and Fred Web-er representatives.

County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, opposes the proposed solid-waste transfer station and had urged residents to attend the June 19 public hearing.

He also is encouraging residents to at-tend the upcoming public hearing being sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources.

As proposed, the transfer station would receive non-hazardous municipal waste, household waste, agricultural, governmental and industrial waste, and transfer the waste from collection trucks to larger carriers that would convey the waste to a landfill.

Fred Weber's proposal comes six months after the company received overwhelming community opposition to a request to locate a solid-waste transfer station in Oak-ville, not far from the site of the current application.

That proposal sought to locate a solid-waste transfer station on a 27.7-acre site on the south side of Baumgartner Road and the east side of the Burlington Northern Railroad right of way.

A public hearing conducted on that request by the county Planning Commission last November drew hundreds of residents who were opposed to the proposal.

But proponents of the previous proposal, including a consultant hired by Fred Weber, contended the facility would fill a need that nobody wants to discuss. That consultant, Derrick Standley of the Genesis Group, also is representing Fred Weber in its latest proposal.

Thomas Dunne Jr., spokesman for F.W. Disposal, was unavailable for comment before the Call went to press.

It is unclear what effect Westfall's opposition will have on the waste-transfer proposal.

"Buzz doesn't think this proposal has a chance of being approved by the County Council,'' Scott said. "Clearly a majority of the council is against it.''

Leading the opposition is Campisi.

"It's great to know Buzz Westfall has heard the people of south county,'' Campisi said. "But the fight isn't over yet. People shouldn't give up yet.''

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