Final contract approved for salvage yard cleanup

JOHN KLINE | THE GOSHEN NEWSIn this May 2017 file photo, the land that used to be the site of Ramirez Salvage Yard, 828 E. Lincoln Ave., is shown. Goshen Redevelopment Commission members Tuesday approved a final contract amendment needed to close out ongoing environmental cleanup work at the former Ramirez Salvage Yard on the city’s east side.

GOSHEN — Goshen Redevelopment Commission members Tuesday approved a final contract amendment needed to close out ongoing environmental cleanup work at the former Ramirez Salvage Yard on the city’s east side.

According to Becky Hershberger, brownfield coordinator for the city, the commission in 2012 executed an agreement with Environmental Consulting & Technology Inc. for Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund grant assistance with the intention being that the grant funding, provided to the city by the EPA and totaling about $1 million, would be loaned to other entities for environmental remediation work throughout the city.

“In 2014, the decision was made for the city to loan the funds to the commission instead for use at the former salvage yard at 828 E. Lincoln Ave. to complete remediation activities and an agreement amendment was completed in January 2017 to allow for ECT’s oversight of the project on the city’s behalf,” Hershberger said of the agreement.

The city’s goal for the former salvage yard involved transforming the property into a large stormwater detention basin that will allow for improved stormwater drainage within the Lincoln Avenue/Steury Avenue corridor.

As part of that process, the RDC this past January awarded a $523,000 contract to John Ward Concrete & Excavating of Osceola for Phase 1 of the redevelopment project. The scope of the phase includes the site’s environmental cleanup as well as construction of the new detention basin that, when completed, will take stormwater from improvements along Lincoln Avenue as well as Steury Avenue and eventually discharge the water into Rock Run Creek.

According to Hershberger, the original design for the brownfield remediation project at the former salvage yard included an unlined, two-stage detention basin with a slow release into Rock Run Creek, as all previous environmental data indicated that the site’s contamination issues were primarily located within the areas to be excavated for the construction of the basin and no groundwater issues were anticipated.

However, Hershberger’s department in late April received lab results from its post-excavation samples taken from across the bottom of the basin, and the results showed high lead contamination levels still existed across the entire basin floor. That discovery in turn required additional environmental testing by ECT which was not included in the original contract.

As such, Hershberger went before the commission Tuesday to request permission to increase the original remediation contract with ECT by $16,000 to cover the cost of the additional oversight and sampling that was required, bringing the total ECT contract cost to $180,000.

“This will be the final agreement amendment for the overall project,” Hershberger told the commission Tuesday. “We are requesting a $16,000 contract amendment, and that accounts for all the additional sampling that was needed to address the lead contamination and the additional soils that were removed, as well as the additional testing for the soils brought back in, the analytics and all of the submissions to the state of Indiana to confirm that we met our objective on the project.”

The requested was approved unanimously.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business, commission members:

• Voted to table a request by architect Scott Sivan for approval to develop a new upscale residential project, coined “River Art,” targeted for the Goshen millrace.

The project as proposed would consist of an approximately 50-unit apartment building, the renovation of the north half of the Hawks building and the creation of a new community park. The commission will revisit the request during its upcoming January meeting.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN

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