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.