Written by STEVE OSTERMANN
Wednesday, 05 August 2015 20:20
Decision means another site is needed for contaminated earth from former lumberyard
The Department of Natural Resources has denied the Village of Grafton’s request to move contaminated soil from a downtown redevelopment site to Lime Kiln Park.
The village recently asked for permission to relocate 8,000 cubic yards of soil from property earmarked for the Lumberyard 1505 project on Wisconsin Avenue to a former quarry in the park that was once used as a landfill.
Environmental tests have identified the soil as having polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), organic compounds typically found in fossil fuels.
“The DNR will not approve placement of this type of fill because they have concerns that the soil could come in contact with groundwater,” Village Administrator Darrell Hofland said.
The former quarry has been monitored for more than 20 years after contaminated groundwater was detected in the area.
Hofland said Lime Kiln Park would have been the least expensive option for relocating the soil, but the DNR decision forces the village to find an alternate site.
“The village staff is in the process of reviewing other locations and associated costs,” he said.
Shaffer Development is planning Lumberyard 1505 as a mixed-use project on 4.7 acres of a former lumberyard on the west side of Wisconsin Avenue. Included in the first phase is a four-story building south of Beech Street that will have 72 apartments along with 10,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and an outdoor patio.
An agreement with the developer requires the village to remove the contaminated soil. Shaffer’s grading plan estimates that 8,000 cubic yards of soil must be relocated before construction can begin.
Plans call for the village to submit a new site for DNR approval within a month, Hofland said. “The DNR is working with us to ensure a quick turnaround” on the decision, he added.
The village’s Parks and Recreation Board recommended using the Lime Kiln Park quarry for the soil. However, the Village Board tabled consideration of the item this week following the DNR’s decision.
The village’s Community Development Authority has negotiated the sale of the Lumberyard 1505 property to Shaffer as well as a development agreement for the project.
The CDA was expected at its Wednesday, Aug. 5, meeting to renew a memorandum of understanding for the Lumberyard 1505 project until the development agreement can be signed.
The agreement is expected to be finalized and construction started by the end of this year, Hofland said.