Monday, January 24, 2011

Final report submitted to the Mayor

A final report was submitted to the Mayor.

You can download a powerpoint presentation of it or the text.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Next meeting

The Landfill Committee will meet at 2:30pm on December 3 in the Council Chambers of the City Hall at 550 Main Street to begin discussions on ideas that the public has discussed.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Public meeting number 2

Last night, the committee held another public hearing at the Library's X Room. It was well attended and a lot of interesting ideas were thrown out, including:

-A cycling destination, with a velodrome & mountain bike trails
-Waterfront development, including residential real estate
-Trees, with the addition of adequate soil levels
-Cell tower
-Shrubbery that spells "HARTFORD"
-Plant nursery
-Public Art
-Not a big box store
-Solar power (incorporating Connecticut Light & Power as well as selling "testing space" for new solar technologies)
-Sportsplex on ash area
-Employment opportunities for homeless
-Educational space for youth
-Youth activities (rollerskating, cycling)
-A commercial center with businesses that will turn a profit
-Revenue-creating regional park
-Grow food for parties, shelters, etc.

Attendees at the public hearing also urged the committee to keep these things in mind when deliberating:

-Connect with the Connecticut River
-Connect with Riverfront Recapture/Riverside Park
-Create new jobs/revenue and if growing things, look at Urban Oaks in New Britain as a model
-Remember that this is a high profile location, so put something big there, a destination
-Take time and don't jump on the first flashy idea
-Get rid of I-91 & I-84 through Hartford
-Create collaborations with private, non-profit and public entities
-Different things at once on the site
-Keep the cost to maintain in mind
-Use parts of the site to economically sustain other parts
-Keep the site public and expand public access to the river
-Don't disregard the thought of nature, "as much green space as we can get"
-Don't get to comfortable and let the site sit idle
-Have simple short-term uses before the long-term large-scale uses begin
-Connect to the other side of the river
-Think of the site in the large context the North Meadows neighborhood and Hartford as a whole

It's a lot for the committee to think about, huh?

Special thanks to Richard Frieder and the library for the space, as well as Peter Egan at CRRA for underwriting the spread in the Hartford News, it seems that really spread the information well.

For another take on the meeting, check Real Hartford's blog post.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Check out the Hartford News

Check out this week's Hartford News (Oct 1-8) for an informative spread in the center of the newspaper. Hopefully, this will give you a good framework to come up with creative ideas for the next public hearing on October 7 at the library.

The Hartford News is available for free in numerous locations throughout the City. And, thank you to CRRA for underwriting this PSA.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Public Hearing 1

The committee met on Saturday for the first public hearing at Vibz Uptown on Main Street. There were perhaps 25 or 30 people in attendance, with a strong contingent from the North End Seniors in Action. Councilperson Cotto gave a brief summary of the developments and time line of the closure & post-closure activities: capping will be done by 2011, CRRA has to maintain the landfill for at least the next 30 years, there is the potential of $1mil from the State of Connecticut for the City to use for development (though the State Bonding Commission has not released the money as of right now) and the post-closure plans are subject to approval by the CT Department of Environment Protection.

Many of those in attendance expressed concerns about the safety of the capped landfill and urged that any development should wait until all safety concerns have been addressed. The North End Seniors in Action shared that view and believe that up until that time perhaps that area should be left alone and flowers can be grown on it. For instance, the group wondered if the membrane in use is the best available. Once and if the land is suitably safe, a cemetery could be created on top as well as the development of renewal energy systems was their ultimate recommendation for use.

Former City Councilman, current Hartford Republican Party Chairman and newspaper columnist Mike McGarry delivered a presentation on the notion of creating commercial greenhouses atop of the landfill. The approximately 40 acres of flat terrain on the landform would provide enough greenhouse space to produce upwards of 100 tons of produce per year. He stressed that these would provide between 100 and 150 jobs, would contribute to the City's tax rolls and would develop a new industry in the City. He also suggested that there were already potential greenhouse developers ready and willing to begin operation atop the landfill site. Mr. McGarry said that with the Committee's blessing, he would develop a full-scale proposal for development of greenhouses.

We hope that you'll be able to join us for the next public hearing on October 7 at 5:30 in the Hartford Public Library's main branch.

* Greenhouse photograph comes from the International Greenhouse Company's website. However, this does not denote a preference towards the product of said company by the committee.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two upcoming public hearings

The Landfill Committee will hold two public hearings over the next month or so. Below is a press release I just sent out on them:


Brendan Mahoney
The Office of Councilperson Luis E Cotto
860 757 9568

September 14, 2009 – Landfill Post-closure Community Advisory Committee announces two public hearings.

Empanelled by Mayor Perez earlier this year, the Landfill Post-closure Community Advisory Committee was charged with the task of developing recommendations for the now closed Hartford Landfill. The committee has met several times since March to learn about the geotechnical and legal issues relating to the landfill. Now, it will hold two public hearing to listen to the community’s ideas for the future uses of the sizable area in north Hartford between the Connecticut River and Interstate 91.

Meeting 1:
Saturday, September 19, 2009, 11am – 1pm
Vibz Uptown
3155 Main Street

Meeting 2:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Hartford Public Library
500 Main Street

Councilperson Luis E. Cotto is chairperson of the Landfill Post-closure Community Advisory Committee. For more information about the committee, please visit our website at Informational packets on the landfill will be distributed to any interested parties at the public hearing or by contacting Brendan Mahoney, whose contact information is at the top of this communication.


I hope you can make it to one of them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last week's meeting and future meetings

The committee meeting met last week for a presentation from Alan Benevides of Woodard & Curran about the geotechincal characteristics of the landfill. The presentation is available over on the right column of this site. It was an interesting an information presentation. Individuals from the CT Audubon Society, the Hartford Library and Hartford 2000 attended. Key points to take away from the presentation when developing post-closure plans are:
  • The landfill is up high. The main landform is quite tall, approximately 120'.
  • The landform has steep sides, 33% grade. The top part has a 4% slope, sloping away from the spine of the hill.
  • There are 78 gas wells on top of larger portion of the landform. While they pose no threat to the public, people shouldn't mess with them.
  • The larger portion of the landform contains putrescent waste, which can settle somewhat over time. Any structures errected would need to take this into account.
  • The smaller portion of the landform contains ash and is not given to settling.
  • The membrane (cap) is below aproximately 1' of fill. Care must be taken not to damage it.
  • While it will be safe to human health upon capping, there is a perception associated with land that was once a landfill.
To paraphrase much of what Mr. Benevides said, anything is possible on the landfill, but there is a pricetag associated with it. One also has to be cognizant of the cost to maintain things annualy.

The committee will meet next on July 15, 2009 at 3:30pm in the Council Chambers of City Hall. City Hall is located at 550 Main Street in Hartford. This meeting will be with the lawyer on issues related to CRRA's contract. It will also be the last "fact finding" meeting of the committee before public hearings and subsequent discussions are held. We invite you to come to the July 15 and all future ones.

Photo courtesy Heather Brandon.