Toxic waste site cleanup near stadium to total $2.8 million

Toxic waste site cleanup near stadium to total $2.8 million

Source: http://www.wacotrib.com, July 1, 2014
By: J.B. Smith

The final bill for cleaning up a former pesticide plant site near McLane Stadium is coming due at today’s Waco City Council meeting, and the total cost is more than three times what the council expected.

The council Tuesday will sign off on a change order of $590,932 for hauling away the last of the contaminated soil from the former Southwest Chemical Co. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Interstate 35.

In all, the city is spending $2.84 million for a cleanup that originally was estimated to cost $973,000.

The city last year hauled 4,640 cubic yards of soil from the five-acre site to the Waco Regional Landfill, but testing later determined that some 40 percent of it would have to be moved to landfills certified for more higher levels of contamination.

The cost of testing, hauling away stormwater and the dirt itself and paying landfill fees drove up the price, city solid waste officials said.

City Manager Dale Fisseler said the soil has all been moved now, and the city is expecting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to certify that the site is clean for nonresidential development.

He said the city did the right thing in acquiring the site in 2007 in a foreclosure sale, knowing at the time that it was contaminated from pesticides that had seeped into the soil and groundwater.

By that time, the city already had begun the remediation project with the help of a $250,000 federal grant.

“It’s very expensive to remove all that, which is why nobody else had done it,” Fisseler said.

But without the cleanup, the extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the construction of McLane Stadium could not have proceeded on schedule because some of the expanded road is in the cleanup zone, he said.

Fisseler said he hopes the city can recoup its cost by selling the property, which is valuable because of its position on I-35 next to the stadium.

The contaminated soil has been replaced with clean soil, and the city intends to market the site in the near future for restaurant, retail or hotel use, Fisseler said. The site is zoned for commercial use.

“We’ve taken all the precautions to ensure a safe development there,” Fisseler said.

In the meantime, the city will use the property during this football season as a staging area for emergency vehicles, Fisseler said.

The final bill for cleaning up a former pesticide plant site near McLane Stadium is coming due at today’s Waco City Council meeting, and the total cost is more than three times what the council expected.

The council Tuesday will sign off on a change order of $590,932 for hauling away the last of the contaminated soil from the former Southwest Chemical Co. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Interstate 35.

In all, the city is spending $2.84 million for a cleanup that originally was estimated to cost $973,000.

The city last year hauled 4,640 cubic yards of soil from the five-acre site to the Waco Regional Landfill, but testing later determined that some 40 percent of it would have to be moved to landfills certified for more higher levels of contamination.

The cost of testing, hauling away stormwater and the dirt itself and paying landfill fees drove up the price, city solid waste officials said.

City Manager Dale Fisseler said the soil has all been moved now, and the city is expecting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to certify that the site is clean for nonresidential development.

He said the city did the right thing in acquiring the site in 2007 in a foreclosure sale, knowing at the time that it was contaminated from pesticides that had seeped into the soil and groundwater.

By that time, the city already had begun the remediation project with the help of a $250,000 federal grant.

“It’s very expensive to remove all that, which is why nobody else had done it,” Fisseler said.

But without the cleanup, the extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the construction of McLane Stadium could not have proceeded on schedule because some of the expanded road is in the cleanup zone, he said.

Fisseler said he hopes the city can recoup its cost by selling the property, which is valuable because of its position on I-35 next to the stadium.

The contaminated soil has been replaced with clean soil, and the city intends to market the site in the near future for restaurant, retail or hotel use, Fisseler said. The site is zoned for commercial use.

“We’ve taken all the precautions to ensure a safe development there,” Fisseler said.

In the meantime, the city will use the property during this football season as a staging area for emergency vehicles, Fisseler said.

The final bill for cleaning up a former pesticide plant site near McLane Stadium is coming due at today’s Waco City Council meeting, and the total cost is more than three times what the council expected.

The council Tuesday will sign off on a change order of $590,932 for hauling away the last of the contaminated soil from the former Southwest Chemical Co. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Interstate 35.

In all, the city is spending $2.84 million for a cleanup that originally was estimated to cost $973,000.

The city last year hauled 4,640 cubic yards of soil from the five-acre site to the Waco Regional Landfill, but testing later determined that some 40 percent of it would have to be moved to landfills certified for more higher levels of contamination.

The cost of testing, hauling away stormwater and the dirt itself and paying landfill fees drove up the price, city solid waste officials said.

City Manager Dale Fisseler said the soil has all been moved now, and the city is expecting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to certify that the site is clean for nonresidential development.

He said the city did the right thing in acquiring the site in 2007 in a foreclosure sale, knowing at the time that it was contaminated from pesticides that had seeped into the soil and groundwater.

By that time, the city already had begun the remediation project with the help of a $250,000 federal grant.

“It’s very expensive to remove all that, which is why nobody else had done it,” Fisseler said.

But without the cleanup, the extension of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and the construction of McLane Stadium could not have proceeded on schedule because some of the expanded road is in the cleanup zone, he said.

Fisseler said he hopes the city can recoup its cost by selling the property, which is valuable because of its position on I-35 next to the stadium.

The contaminated soil has been replaced with clean soil, and the city intends to market the site in the near future for restaurant, retail or hotel use, Fisseler said. The site is zoned for commercial use.

“We’ve taken all the precautions to ensure a safe development there,” Fisseler said.

In the meantime, the city will use the property during this football season as a staging area for emergency vehicles, Fisseler said.

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