City to Pay for Ground Soil Analysis as Part of Parking Lot Deal

Gasoline tanks that are still buried below the M&I Bank drive-thru that city officials planned to assume as city land for a parking lot may pose environmental issues, causing the city to think twice.

A tenative deal between the city and business owner Daniel Ewig — who's currently renovating the former Lueptow furniture buildings — is now costing the city up to $4,100 as officials work to determine whether the property is environmentally safe.

The Port Washington Common Council on Tuesday night approved the hiring of Konicek Environmental to conduct soil and groundwater samplings on the site of the M&I Bank drive-thru that was planned to be turned into a city-owned parking lot.

The property, the M&I Bank drive-thru site, was planned to become the city's through a swap that gave Ewig's building access to a parking lot directly behind the new Boerner Mercantile Building, according to an Ozaukee Press article.

The site used to be home to an auto dealership, according to City Administrator Mark Grams. At that time, gasoline tanks were also housed on the property. The dealership was razed in the 1970s, and the M&I buildings were constructed in the 1980s. When this happened, it's likely that the tanks were not drained and instead were filled with sand — a common practice at the time, Grams said.

The estimated cost for the analysis is $3,100 to $4,100, a cost that the city would be responsible for, Grams said.

"I think we know it’s contaminated ... the question is to what extent," said Ald. Jim Vollmar, who strongly encouraged getting the sampling done before followthing through with the land-swap agreement.

After the city learns the result of the sampling, if it still decides to go forward with the purchase, there may be grant funding options available to deal with any issues found, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said.

Greg December 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM
Don't do the land swap until the current owner resolves the issue. Why take on his liabilities?
Kathy December 20, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Uhm. De Jeja Vu ?- I could be mistaken but.... this smells just like that coal dock silliness, the monies spent for a study to develop a strip of land that the city would never own but no one knew that. *cough*
Greg Huegerich December 21, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Who's buddy gets the study contract?
Kathy December 22, 2012 at 07:40 PM
...and giving this more thought, have we forgotten the cluster muck in Cedarburg? I'm referring to the old Mercury Marine Bldg. Big ole can of worms! Hmmmmm. That was PCB contaminates because back in the day the coolants and what not used and how disposed etc. The EPA stepped in and super-funded Cedar Creek clean up (Amcast Mfg also blamed) that cost was like 3M. The EPA set proposals for Merc Plant 2 site clean up. For your reading enjoyment http://wwwarchive.mercurymarine.com/uploads/images/1977/Cedar_Creek_-_USEPA_Proposes_Cleanup_Plan_for_Former_Cedar_Creek_Plant_2_Site_10-2007.pdf I seem to recall the City going after Merc Marine to pay. I also seem to recall some lawsuits flying from citizens on same block as Plant 2. Who will pay for any clean up here? Grant Funding options? Most likely only to clean up affected natural resources.


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