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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Proposal has county looking to the stars

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

BENTON - The old county landfill may be exactly what SEMO officials are looking for in a site to relocate the university's observatory.

Dr. Mike Cobb, professor of physics at Southeast Missouri State University, met with Scott County commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday to "visit and present the concept to commissioners," according to Jim Schwaninger, county economic developer. "He is looking at Scott County as one of several sites for relocating the university's observatory."

The university's observatory is currently located north of Cape Girardeau on the university's farm but will have to be moved due to a new interstate highway interchange planned for the site.

Cobb said the county landfill would be a good location as it is relatively high compared with the surrounding area, is clear of trees, has no surrounding light sources and has controlled access.

Schwaninger said the university would lease the site from the county and maintain the site, restricting access to students, professors and the adjacent property owner.

"I thought it was very interesting," Commissioner Jamie Burger said regarding the proposition. "He brought a pretty nice booklet explaining what his thoughts are, where he would like to see it go, the pros and cons of the whole idea."

SEMO officials would like to secure a 15 to 20 year lease, according to Burger.

Burger said commissioners have several things to consider before coming to an agreement such as Department of Natural Resource's rules for the use of closed landfills and will also discuss the idea with the owner of property adjacent to the landfill.

"There's a lot of hoops to jump through yet on this thing- it's still really preliminary," Burger said.

In other county business, commissioners met with a food vendor to discuss food services for the jail.