Officials from the Board of Representatives and the Department of Operations listened to North Stamford residents with concerns regarding the end-usage of the land near the Scofieldtown landfill on Thursday.
"The landfill is part of the city operations department. We own the land that the landfill is on, so we are responsible for the closure, the remediation, and the capping," Director of Operations Ernie Orgera told Patch.
Orgera was among several city officials present for the public hearing, which was began 7:00 p.m. at . Other city officials included Board of Representatives president Randall Skigen and city engineer Lou Casolo, who explained the technical status of the landfill closure.
"We're just starting to monitor wells, and that's a year-long process. Once we do that, we do the capping, which contains the impervious membrane, and then put two feet of capping above it. So I would say that the end-use is about two years from now," Orgera said.
City officials present for the hearing could not provide a budget for the capping and end-use phases of their plan, as the project has not reached that point.
Several residents who've lived near the Scofieldtown region for many years, such as Peter Lyons and NCSSE president Karen DeFalco maintained memories of Scofieldtown Park, which closed due to problems caused by the landfill. DeFalco and Lyons addressed the city's 1997 Master Plan, which while it did not result in many changes for North Stamford at the time, was referenced during the public hearing as being a somewhat ideal template for end-use.
"In that plan, they had incorporated the paths from the nature center, to the Bartlett Arboretum, to the park across the street. I think that is something that would give this area a sense of cohesiveness. I think that whatever goes there is going to be better than what we have now, but I think that tying all of these properties together will be just fabulous," DeFalco said.
"There were a few people who used this park in 1997...the tennis players were part of this design because it was such a lousy park. The tennis courts were in a lousy state then, and we tried to get them re-furbished. They were repaired once, and then they cracked six months later," Lyons said. "Three years ago, when this 'water thing' started, I unfortunately happened to be there at 9 a.m. in the morning when the park was closed, and I was wild about it."
In an earlier report, DeFalco described the Scofieldtown landfill as having been the of life for those living near it.
Other residents who spoke at the meeting supported having a cell tower placed in the new clean-region, but according to Orgera, approval for such a thing may take some work.
"I know that the cell service is poor in this area; in some areas, you can't get cell service at all, but I know that the Parks and Recreation Commission has voted that we should never have cell towers in parks. There could be some exceptions," Orgera said.
Randall Skigen made it clear that he supports residents in their desire to finally have areas impacted by the landfill capped and re-used for the good of the North Stamford community, but he also encouraged residents to remain patient and cooperative with city representatives, such as Ernie Orgera.
"We need to try to help him, and of course, help ourselves to try to get to a point where there is a sense of 'these are the uses that are best for this neighborhood'. So I hope that people start to really think about that," Skigen said. "There will be more meetings."