Contamination found on part of old Walter Piano building grounds
Posted: 10/15/2013 at 10:01 pm
By: Tim Vandenack
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Indiana Earth workers begin work Friday, March 22, 2013, at the former Walter Piano site on Beardsley Avenue in Elkhart as they work to knock down the final large portion of the building. (Truth Photo By Jennifer Shephard, File)
The testing was done as part of ongoing city efforts to rehab the old industrial site at 700 West Beardsley Ave. so the plot can be sold and redeveloped.
The contamination is focused on the northern third of the 3.7-acre plot, Barkley Garrett, director of economic development for Elkhart, said Tuesday, Oct. 15, at a meeting of the Elkhart Board of Public Works. City consultants have crafted a remediation proposal, which officials at the Indiana Department of Environmental Management are reviewing.
The contaminant, trichloroethylene, or TCE, was a common industrial degreaser, according to Dennis Correll, who had served as brownfields coordinator for the city. Garrett said the likely remedy would be straightforward ó removal and replacement of the contaminated soil.
The old building, built in 1889, sat long abandoned at the northwest corner of Beardsley Avenue and Michigan Street until the city acquired it and tore it down last spring. It housed many businesses over the years, and city leaders hope it once again serves a useful purpose.
Once cleaned ó IDEMís review of the proposed fix probably wonít be done until November or December ó the cityís plan is to sell the property for, perhaps, retail, commercial or industrial use.
Also Tuesday, the Board of Public Works agreed to a change order to refurbish the southern two-thirds of the plot by application of weed killer, addition of new topsoil, seeding and other measures. The new work will increase the price tag of the complete rehab by $48,107.46, to $421,967.46.
In other business, the board reduced an earlier fine assessed against D&W Inc. for excessive copper emissions in April and June.
The original fine was based on the assumption that the plant was operating every day in the two months in question, or 60 days in all. However, company officials appealed, asking that the fine reflect that relevant operations only occurred during 31 of the 60 days, and the board agreed to the change.