Astoria Athletic Complex
2016 Oregon Brownfields Outstanding Project
The city of Astoria's 12-acre landfill operated as a municipal solid waste disposal site from 1965 to 1985. The site accepted general household waste, and select commercial and industrial wastes. While the city closed the landfill to dumping in 1985 it was unable to financially meet ODEQ's requirements to officially complete the landfill closure. For almost 30 years, the landfill was inactive and a burden to the city. In 2012, ODEQ provided $100,000 in Solid Waste Orphan Account funds for an environmental investigation at the site. Subsequently, an opportunity for a community partnership began to present itself.
Independent, unrelated situations existed within the city. Foremost, the city was required to close its 12-acre former landfill site per ODEQ standards, and the city did not have the funds to complete the work. Columbia Memorial Hospital, the regional center for medical care, had plans to expand its operations and to include a new cancer treatment center to serve the citizens who now travel 45 to 90 miles away for cancer treatments. However, no vacant sites large enough to accommodate a new hospital and cancer center existed. The Astoria School District owned land adjacent to the Hospital that was used as its high school football fieldJohn Warren Fieldbut the sports field was in a poor location for parking and transportation, needed costly upgrades, and had limited use possibilities. Finally, Recology Western Oregon, the solid waste disposal company for the entire county, located adjacent to the former landfill, wanted to upgrade and expand their services but such action required costly road and other infrastructure improvement. The four entities began discussions on how each of these issues might be resolved while freeing up land for a much-needed expansion of the Hospital. The city of Astoria, Astoria School District, Columbia Memorial Hospital, and Recology entered into a 4-Party Agreement to redevelop the 12-acre portion of the landfill site for a publicly accessible outdoor sports complex.
Completed in 2014, redevelopment of the landfill created what is now the Astoria Athletic Complex, a potential revenue-generating resource for the Astoria School District and community. In turn, a land swap allowed Columbia Memorial Hospital to expand through its partnership with Oregon Health and Science University to better meet the community's health care needs.
ODEQ worked with partners to close the landfill. In addition, Recology was able to get the much-needed upgrades to the utility infrastructure that will make their operation a continued success at the site. The city's Urban Renewal District assisted with the addition of their property adjacent to the Hospital to add to the land area needed for the Hospital expansion. In the end, the School District has a new sports field, the Hospital is able to expand, and the landfill is officially closed.