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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Rumpke tries to strike deal with Colerain Township

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- A standing room only crowd filled the community center to sound off on a settlement offer that would resolve a lawsuit over Rumpke's desire to expand its landfill.

Rumpke sued for the right to expand in 2006. The case made it all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court. The Court sided with the township.

Rumpke is offering to pay Colerain Twp. $1.5 million per year plus additional money for the garbage dumped at the landfill. Rumpke would expand its landfill by 300 acres over the next 40 to 50 years. The settlement would limit the height of the landfill and give the township some input on the expansion. The case will go to trial in September If Colerain Twp. trustees do not approve the settlement. If the township does not accept the offer and loses at trial, it would not get an annual payment and would not have any say over the expansion.

"My recommendation as a long-time Colerain resident of 37 years is to settle. Trial is not an option," said resident Bruce Carter.

At one point a resident asked people in the crowd to raise their hands if they wanted the township to accept the settlement offer. The majority in the room raised their hands. But many others said they did not want the township to accept the offer citing issues such as the odor at Rumpke that comes from a chemical reaction taking place deep underground. The Ohio EPA monitors the site but the cause of the reaction has yet to be determined.

"The fact that there is a fire that has been burning there for the length of time that it has been burning indicates that the site is out of control," said Diane Perry, a resident and scientist.

A Rumpke spokesperson said the proposed settlement had been hashed out in meetings between lawyers for the township and Rumpke last month.
"We want to do what is right for Colerain Twp. and we believe this proposed settlement agreement is in the best interest of the township while it also secures the ability for Rumpke to continue its service that it provides to millions of residents and businesses," Jonathan Kissell said.
While many residents want the township to accept Rumpke's settlement offer, others worry what an expansion could mean for the future of Colerain Twp.

"We're saying why rush? Think this thing out clearly. Mention what the issues are. Figure out what the impact is on property values," said Rich McVay, who opposes the settlement.

Two township trustees told Local 12 News they have not decided which way they will vote on the settlement offer. Dennis Deters said it will probably be the hardest decision he makes as a trustee. He plans to meet with residents before trustees vote on the settlement at a meeting August 5.

If the settlement is not approved the case will go to trial on Sept. 22 in Hamilton Co. Common Pleas Court.

Residents and business owners can offer input by emailing rumpke@colerain.org

Watch video HERE

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