Yakima looks at landfill cleanup options at Cascade mill site

YAKIMA, Wash. - Yakima wants to clean up the landfill at the old Cascade mill site. That's the next step Yakima plans to take to develop the property. The city is looking at three options.

We've heard big dreams of what some people would like to see at the old Cascade mill site. Things like building a soccer field or a medical office.

Now, the city said there are no pre-determined options. Cleaning up the landfill would cost millions, but exactly how much depends on what the community would like.

Three options are on the table to clean up the landfill at the mill site.

The first would put a cap on it. It's the cheapest option at seven million dollars. But, it would limit development to things like parking lots and parks.

"This is one of the city council's highest economic development priorities and as a community," said Yakima's Strategic Project Manager Joan Davenport. "It's our one shot of getting this right."

The second option would move the landfill from the development area. A berm would be created to push the landfill toward I-82. This would cost around 14 million dollars. Things like office parks, hotels and light industry would be possible.

"It's a very technical option," said Davenport. "There would still have to be a lot of oversight in how it's executed."

The last option is the most expensive at around 27 million dollars. But, it means unlimited opportunities. The landfill would be dug up and moved to a different location entirely. Then, it would be replaced with clean dirt.

Before making any decision, Yakima will look at what's been done at similar sites around the country. It's a decision considered crucial for the city's economic future.

Yakima City Council will weigh in on the cleanup option next month during a study session.