City could end up paying $6M for eroding landfill

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The city of Indianapolis is facing a hefty price tag to fix up a landfill on the southeast side.

The Julietta Landfill has been on the southeast side since the 1970's, and has long been covered up. Whispering Hills Golf Course was built across the street, with part of its driving range sitting on top of the landfill now.

Tests by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, have found erosion on the site which could present a problem down the road.

The land, which is owned by Indy Parks, will need to be fixed up and the landfill needs a new cap. All told, that could cost up to $6 million.

"It’s the worst-case scenario, certainly," Indy Parks Director Linda Broadfoot said.

Broadfoot said her department has begun budgeting for the testing, and is looking into ways to get the money as time goes on. She expects the expenses at the site to be spread out over a few years' time.

Neighbors, though, told CBS4 they are worried.

Jennifer Selm, who is the President of the local neighborhood association, said that she didn't even know the landfill existed until earlier this year.

"It almost seemed like a hidden problem," Selm said.

She has since questioned the city about possible plans to extend German Church Road through the area, as well as whether the landfill could affect residents' water.

"Several of the neighbors have (gone) ahead and they’ve checked their water and so far everything’s been good, so we’re thankful for that," Selm said.

Broadfoot and IDEM have both found that the area is safe right now, including the golf course and surrounding properties.

"All of the tests that have come back so far give us no cause for immediate concern," Broadfoot said.

She said that while the cost is high for a city that is trying to cut back on its budget, Indy Parks will find the money to make sure the site remains safe.

"We’re being very proactive on this. We’ve been working with (IDEM) all along, and absolutely safety is our number one priority," Broadfoot said.

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