PEORIA -- The Peoria County Democratic Women voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to support the Peoria County Board's decision last year to halt the expansion of the hazardous waste landfill at Pottstown.
The vote, at the special May 31 meeting, came after a contentious debate on whether the group should take positions on issues, and on the landfill issues.
Of 23 members in good standing eligible to vote, 19 voted to back the board's decision. No one voted "no" but one abstained and two didn't vote.
Several female members of the County Board are members of the group but did not attend the meeting, after the Peoria County State's Attorney advised them that attending might violate the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
A majority of a quorum of public officials cannot gather without notifying the public and press of the meeting in advance. This rule is often ignored for social events, but was enforced for this meeting.
The board last May decided not to site expansion of the Peoria Disposal Co. landfill at Pottstown, prompting PDC to appeal the decision to the Illinois Pollution Control Board. A decision from the PCB is expected on June 21.
PDC has also applied to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for an extension of its current permit, and is seeking to expand that way, as well.
Some of the coalition of environmentalists who opposed the landfill expansion last year then shifted positions, and in February offered a compromise measure that would have allowed some expansion in return for a trust fund and other concessions. Negotiations began between county officials and PDC.
The compromise advocates then withdrew their support for a compromise measure. A compromise so far has not been discussed by the board.
The Democratic Women also voted to send a letter to the board about their vote, and will issue a news release.
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