Gletty Rd. Dump Site 11 12 2019

The top photo shows the Gletty Rd. dump site as seen from Fairwind Blvd.  The bottom photo shows the dump site from Gletty Rd. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency granted the City of Sandwich an extension until June 30, 2020 to clean up the illegal dump.  The dump was originally supposed to have been cleaned up by Jan. 17, 2020. ( photos by James Wyman)

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has granted the City of Sandwich an extension until June 30, 2020 for the clean-up of the illegal dump located on the east side of Gletty Rd. between W. Center St. and the railroad tracks.

Originally, the IEPA had given the city until Jan. 17, 2020 to remove the dump.

IEPA Public Information Officer Kim Biggs said Wednesday she knew nothing about any other modifications in the provisions of the Open Dump Administrative Citation Warning Notice issued by the IEPA on March 1, 2019.

Wilkinson Excavating of Somonauk was the low bidder on the clean-up, with a bid of $155,000. The Sandwich City Council has tabled approval of the Wilkinson bid three times.

Sandwich Mayor Rich Robinson said at the Oct. 28 city council meeting that he was hoping for a modification of the IEPA Warning Notice.

Sandwich alderman Fred Kreinbrink said on Tuesday that the IEPA Warning Notice was never given to the city council. Kreinbrink said that even Mayor Robinson had not seen the document.

Kreinbrink said the first he heard of the Warning Notice was in a WSPY Radio story that ran last Sunday and Monday.

WSPY obtained the Warning Notice by filing Freedom of Information Act requests with the City of Sandwich and with the IEPA.

The IEPA Warning Notice threatened the city with a fine of up to $3,000 if it did not file an Administrative Citation before the Illinois Pollution Control Board.

Documents show the dump was created in August of 2015 during the intersection improvements of W. Center St. west of N. Main St.

According to a letter to the IEPA from former Sandwich Mayor Rick Olson, the city needed a place to dump construction materials from the road project and could not haul the 3,000 cubic yards of clean construction/demolition debris to a certified location because of rainy weather.

Olson said in his letter that the council made a decision to haul the debris to the far south/west portion of the 27-acre city owned plot across from the fairgrounds.

Olson was concerned that with the Sandwich Fair approaching, the debris needed to be moved immediately from the downtown construction site.

A complaint to the IEPA prompted an inspection of the Gletty Rd. open dump site on January 17, 2019.

That inspection resulted in seven apparent violations. The violations are that the city caused or allowed open dumping; the city conducted a waste-disposal operation without a permit; the city conducted a waste-disposal operation in violation of standards adopted the the Illinois Pollution Control Board; the city disposed, treated, stored and abandoned waste at a site not meeting requirements of the Act; the city allowed open dumping of waste in a manner which resulted in litter; the city allowed open dumping of waste in a manner which resulted in deposition of general construction or demolition debris; and the city filed no application for a permit to develop and operate a landfill.

According to an Aug. 16, 2019 email from City Engineer Tom Horak to Dick Halm of Clean Soils Consulting, a company hired by the city to assist in the dump clean-up, Henderson Engineering, located at 95 N. Main St. in Sandwich, also dumped 150 cubic yards of construction material at the Gletty Rd. site.

According to Horak's email, former Mayor Olson gave permission for Henderson Engineering to dump the materials at the site.  Henderson was adding onto their campus in 2015 when the dumping occurred.

Mayor Robinson said at a recent council meeting that the city would not seek legal action against Gensini Excavating of Princeton, the company that dumped the construction materials.  It is not known if Henderson Engineering will assist in the cost of the clean-up.