A recommendation to contract with a Columbus engineering firm for assessing a brownfield site where a service station had been located will be presented to members of Elmore Village Council next week for consideration.
Council’s planning and environment committee last Monday agreed to recommend the hiring of Burgess & Niple to test for any contamination of the property at 408 Rice Street.
The village has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the assessment of the site where four underground fuel storage tanks have been out of service for about 14 years.
The EPA defines brownfields as abandoned or underused sites where expansion or redevelopment may be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance.
The Ohio EPA conducted preliminary soil sample tests at the site in 2006 and, according to a prior assessment of the property by the agency, a suspected release of a substance associated with the property was reported in July, 2004 to the Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulation (BUSTR).
Information provided by the former owner, Jim Hunt, to the Ohio EPA in November, 2004 indicated that a tank at the site had a leak in June, 1980 while the station was owned by Sohio. The tank, which had held unleaded gasoline, was taken out of service but not removed.
The Ohio EPA’s assessment includes other concerns about the station building and property:
• Ceiling tiles may contain asbestos
• The location of a fluid reservoir for a vehicle lift in the service bays is not known
• The contents of several drums on the east side of the building are unknown
• Several areas of the building are chipping and likely contain lead-based paint
The village has an option to buy the property.
Councilman Rick Claar last week said the grant will fund extensive testing for contamination over an extended period of time.
The results, he said, will be a factor in what the village decides to do with the property if council decides to buy it.
The village will accept comments from the public on the project until Aug. 25, Mr. Claar said. Comments may be submitted to the village office at 344 Rice Street. For more information call (419) 862-3362.
With construction underway of the Fremont to Elmore leg of the Northcoast Inland Trail, village council may need to revisit the section of its zoning ordinance covering parking lots, Mr. Claar said.
Steve Gruner, director of the Sandusky County Park District, attended last week’s committee meeting to answer questions about the project.
Members of council said some residents have expressed concerns about the bike trail’s impact on parking spaces on parking lots near the intersection of Rice and Maple streets.
The trail follows abandoned railroad right-of-way. In Elmore, it crosses Rice Street between Ottawa and Maple streets.
Current village zoning regulations call for 10-foot-wide parking spaces, Mr. Claar said.
A schematic drawing of the trail submitted to village officials includes the parking lots along Maple as having 9-foot-wide spaces as well as pedestrian access to the trail.
Mr. Claar said the drawing indicates there may be a gain of two spaces on the lot to the east of Rice Street near the post office building but a loss of two spots on the lot west of Rice near the fire station.