Soil contamination unearthed on site of Chardon service facility project
Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
The Chardon city administration is working to clear a hurdle hit recently during public service facility construction.
Petroleum-contaminated soil was discovered on a portion of the property at 499 N. Hambden St., where site work is underway to construct a multibay building for vehicles, a multidepartment cold storage structure, a barn-style salt and bulk storage building and a snow storage area.
The soil removal adds $56,500 to the $4.1 million construction cost so far, with additional expenses expected for soil stabilization.
Nearly $100,000 of a $250,000 contingency fund also has been used for unforeseen costs such as relocating a FirstEnergy pole, insurance-related items and paying someone to oversee the soil work.
“Every capital project we do, there’s a reserve fund; it’s a standard practice,” Finance Director Mate Rogonjic said.
He said he doesn’t anticipate that the soil problem will drain the fund.
The contamination issue was discussed at the last City Council meeting. Councilwoman Deborah M. Reiter asked if it would delay the project. Work is to be substantially complete by Nov. 1, according to the contract.
City Manager Randy Sharpe said it is expected to finish on schedule.
“It probably happened in the ’60s or ’70s,” he said of the dumping, noting that a public service employee said he has been up and down that road for 32 years and never saw anything suspicious happening on the property. “We thought it was virgin soil.”
Ground was broken for the facility in March, nearly five years to the day after the old one — on Park Avenue — and its contents went up in flames. The fire, which destroyed several snowplow trucks, was sparked by a faulty fluorescent light ballast. No one was injured.
The city budgeted $4.9 million for the new public service facility, being constructed by Chardon-based Cold Harbor Building Co.