Paint Township residents are being offered a deal many would say is too good to pass up.

Proposed is a landfill off Route 601 east of Seanor that would accept New York City garbage – as much as 4,000 tons a day – and in return put up to $1 million a year in Paint’s coffers.

That’s nearly $200,000 more than the township supervisors estimate it will cost to operate the municipality for all of 2007.

So what’s the hangup?

Things such as the G-word – and worse, somebody else’s garbage – smell, noise, and worries about pollution, both underground and aesthetic.

But fear not, the supervisors say, the plan won’t get a quick stamp of approval.

That’s good government at work.

“We wanted to get it out there (for people to consider),” supervisors Chairman Jeffrey Eash said. “We’ll try to get everybody’s ideas.”

That also should include those in neighboring municipalities who could be affected; state government leaders and inspectors; environmental experts; other landfill operators; and officials in municipalities where landfills are now maintained.

We’re sure Paint officials are aware that much homework needs to be done.

Jack Fugett of Philadelphia, who presented the plan to Paint officials last week, said that especially inviting is the fact that the garbage would not arrive in trucks, but rather in sealed train cars.

That certainly would address concerns involving noisy and dangerous truck traffic and leaks and odors.

Another factor residents will want to weigh is the financial boon landfills have been in other parts of our region.

Somerset County already has three landfills: Shade Township, Mostoller in Somerset Township, and Southern Alleghenies Landfill near Davidsville, which now is used primarily for garbage generated locally.

Cambria County has only one landfill, but Jackson Township officials say that dump has been a “golden egg” for years – allowing supervisors to keep millage down while at the same time spending funds on emergency-response vehicles and extensive recreation.

Without the landfill, “we’d have to look at other ways to balance the budget ($1.3 million for 2007),” said Dave Hirko, township manager.

Meanwhile, Paint Township supervisors are weighing the pros and cons of a landfill. They want residents to do the same, and to offer feedback.

A town meeting would be a great place to start the process.

Trending Video

Recommended for you