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Settler’s Hill groundbreaking targeted for late 2014

GENEVA – Recreation plans for the Settler’s Hill landfill continue to progress, with groundbreaking possible late next year.

Wednesday, Kane County Board member Mike Donahue, R-Geneva, gave the County Board’s Development Committee – which he chairs – an update on the project.

Wednesday’s discussion centered on two key features of the plans – a cross country course and a golf course.

Because of new topography information, the cross country course has been reconfigured slightly to avoid conflicts with the golf course, Donahue said.

County Board member John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles, asked whether the accommodations for the golf course compromised the cross country course.

“I would be opposed to scrunching the cross country course to accommodate that,” he said.

Donahue said it wasn’t compromised. In fact, he said, the county is working with the USA Track & Field Association to ensure the new layout meets NCAA standards.

County Board member Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, said she is glad that the association is involved, as the cross country course could bring large events to the county.

“I want to make sure that’s a priority, and it sounds like it is,” she said.

Permit work and design engineering on the project could be completed by early 2014, Donahue said.

But, he noted, he doesn’t want to spend money on the next phase of the project until issues are resolved with Waste Management, which manages the closed landfill.

Unresolved issues include updating landfill operating agreements, Donahue said, noting the language needs to be more specific about the recreational aspects.

Donahue noted his frustration about the length of time it’s taken to move the project forward – county officials have discussed it for more than two years – and said it is his goal to start work on the site by late 2014.

The project’s master plan, which was approved last year, also calls for the creation of a hilltop observatory, a winter recreation area and an outdoor music venue along Kirk Road.

The County Board has decided to tackle the project one piece at a time, beginning with the cross country venue.

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