A tentative agreement long in the making for Oregon State University-Cascades to acquire Deschutes County’s old demolition landfill could be finalized next week.

Oregon State University’s board of trustees voted Oct. 20 to approve the acquisition of the landfill, adjacent to the OSU-Cascades campus in southwest Bend. At its next meeting, the Deschutes County Commission could approve the agreement.

When the university and the county first discussed a potential purchase, the county agreed it would sell the landfill to OSU-Cascades for $1 if the cost to clean the land of old rubbish is more than the land’s worth. A land appraisal put the property’s worth at about half that of cleanup. The land has been appraised at $25.5 million, while the expected cleanup and infrastructure cost is $48.7 million.

Completion of the acquisition has been delayed several times over the past year. Originally, the university expected talks would be wrapped up in January, then by spring.

If county commissioners approve the deal at their meeting Monday, they would sign the purchase and sale agreement. Oregon State University President Ed Ray would sign the purchase and sale agreement to finalize the deal.

Previously, the university referred to the landfill as being 76 acres, but a more recent review found it’s 72 acres. The university is expecting to stick to its 128-acre, long-range development plan, which includes its 10-acre campus, the 46-acre pumice mine property and the old landfill.

Because the property is an old landfill, the agreement has provisions related to the cleanup and environmental responsibilities.

Those include that the county will retain the Department of Environmental Equality operating permit until the landfill is cleaned up.

— Reporter: 541-383-0325, kfisicaro@bendbulletin.com

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