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Brooklyn Heights Residents Speak Out Against Proposed Debris Facility

A satellite view of 1015 Valley Rd. in Brooklyn Heights, the proposed site for the debris facility. [Google Maps]
A satellite view of 1015 Valley Rd. in Brooklyn Heights, the proposed site for the debris facility. [Google Maps]

Residents in Brooklyn Heights are calling on the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH) to stop another demolition and construction debris dumping site from coming to their neighborhood.

Nearly 90 people voiced concerns Monday night about the potential negative impact of the proposed facility on their health, property value and land preservation. The neighborhood has been dealing with landfills and debris sites for more than 60 years, said Mayor Mike Procuk, and doesn’t need more.

“These things have permits that go on for an eternity. There’s no time limit,” Procuk said. “There’s a start date, but no end date. As long as there’s airspace, they continue to go up and grow.”

Construction and demolition company Kurtz Brothers is proposing a debris collection and processing site on Valley Belt Drive. Procuk has gathered more than 200 signatures opposing it.

“We have had our share of landfills in every shape, way and form, from the municipal garbage dump that we all enjoy seeing from [Interstate] 480 to the existing demolition landfills,” Procuk said. “We’re not just saying ‘Not in my backyard,’ we’re saying, ‘Enough.’ These things have been in Brooklyn Heights since the 1960s.”

Councilman Joseph Blados said another issue with adding the facility is that it would put more trucks and debris on local roadways.

“Who will be responsible to damage to the roadway due to increased truck traffic?” Blados asked. “That is one of our big project expenses for in the future.”

Transporting debris on local roadways also causes difficulties for Brooklyn Heights business owners, said Amy Lasky, who represented concerned local business Ray Fogg Corporate Properties at the meeting. More already needs to be done to ensure roadways are kept clean around the current landfills, she said, and a new facility would only compound those difficulties.

“We deal with a lot of the dirt and mud caking the streets continually,” Lasky said. “There’s no preventative measure in place for any of this.”

A representative from Cleveland Metroparks said they were just alerted to the proposal last week, and are still reviewing it for any concerns about land preservation efforts.

Neither Kurtz Brothers nor CCBH gave a presentation Monday night and no details were offered on the size or potential impact of the site, nor were any questions from residents answered in real time. CCBH representative said the meeting was for information-gathering purposes and answers to residents’ questions will be posted on line, if available, with input from Kurtz Brothers by July 6.

CCBH will post answers to resident questions collected during the meeting online by July 6.

The Ohio EPA has issued a letter to CCBH confirming the proposal is in line with current codes and regulations. The CCBH will meet again July 28 to discuss the landfill proposal.