Maybe you could call it the leak about the leak.
There was a curious moment at the end of Monday night's City Council meeting, under the category of "new business," when Mayor Kevin Burns politely chastised an unnamed alderman for letting the media know about the possible spread of methane gas outside the footprint of the former Settler's Hill Landfill.
"Somebody on this dais forwarded this," Burns said. "The staff was caught off guard because the media received information. I wanted to bring that to everyone’s attention."
Burns reminded aldermen of the pledges they made when they took office and discussions they had during retreats. He added that elected officials' relationships require trust and "should be built on mutual respect."
"I felt it was important to bring that up," he said.
The mayor later added that the alderman had given out information that was not for sharing and included the cell phone numbers for Fire Chief Steve Olson and the deputy fire chief.
The in public session on Monday night and issued a summary report on the city's website. You can read the full Batavia report here.
"As part of an ongoing investigation, Waste Management is coordinating with the cities of Batavia and Geneva and Kane County in an effort to detect and monitor methane levels in and around the Midway and Settler’s Hill landfills," says the update posted Dec. 19. "Earlier this month, Waste Management reported that its ongoing monitoring detected methane gas deep underground outside of waste areas but within the landfill complex.
"Since then, more than 200 other tests have been conducted at 22 other locations that included underground utilities in Batavia’s Highlands community. No methane has been found."
The Geneva City Council did not discuss the matter Monday night. Its only mention was Burns' comment under new busuiness.
After the meeting, Burns underlined that there is no threat to public safety.
"Not at all," he said. "There's absolutely nothing to be concerned about whatsoever. Again, it's a standard monitoring process. But when they add new monitoring sites, we always want to know about it. That's Waste Management's responsibility, (and it has done) exactly that. We've been well informed about exactly what's going on, and we feel it's important to share that information, as well.
"The information is going to be posted on our website, probably as early as tomorrow (Dec. 21), as soon as we have some additional information, so that we have a clear picture: 'If you see activity happening, it's because we're putting in a new site, just for additional monitoring.' "
He also assured residents that Waste Management and Kane County officials have kept a close eye on the methane gas levels at the now-closed landfill.
"This is a constant and contiuous monitoring process that has gone on for years," he said. "We receive regular updates from Waste Management and the county. Those updates are provided usually via conference calls, what have you, with the appropriate parties and constituencies.
"We received information that we thought was important to relay to our council in light of the fact that Batavia was going to discuss the issue in public. So our information was simply an FYI, as we did weeks ago, as we've done for years and will continue to do."