‘Spec Building’ soil test will close part of road

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Work by Department of Environmental Quality officials willresult in a section of West Manufacturer’s Boulevard being closedfor several mornings starting Monday, chamber of commerce officialssaid.

The road near the chamber’s speculative building will be closedas DEQ officials conduct soil testing on the site, said Kenny Goza,Industrial Development Foundation chairman. The work will be donefrom around 7 a.m. until noon.

“It’ll be for three or four days,” Goza said.

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Goza said the workers will be wearing hazardous materials suitsbut will only be conducting soil tests.

“That’s what’s required of them,” Goza said.

Chandler Russ, Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerceexecutive vice-president, said the chamber had received fundingfrom DEQ to do the soil testing. A minute amount of contaminationwas found on the western edge of the property several years agowhen the chamber tried to sell the spec building.

“They plan to do further study to determine the extent of thecontamination and develop a plan for remediation of the site,” Russsaid.

The chamber has been trying to enter the property in the DEQ’sBrownfields program. Following remediation efforts, the programprovides some federal and state protections in the eventcontamination is again found on the site.

“That’s what it’s designed to do,” Russ said.

Citing a conversation with a Brownfields program consultant,Russ said remediating the site could be fairly easy. Options couldinclude removing soil or developing a barrier between thecontamination and rest of the property.

“They won’t know how to remediate it until they know what’sthere,” Russ said.

If remediation is determined to be too costly for landowners,Russ said DEQ would likely cover the costs of those activities.

The site activity comes as chamber officials hope to have founda buyer for the spec building. Officials did not identify theprospect, but Russ said it has some distribution services.

“It’ll be nice if we can sell the building,” Goza added.

The approximately 54,000-square-foot building was built fiveyears ago. Russ said it would be good to get the property back onthe tax rolls.

“We look forward to getting some conclusion on the spec buildingand the issues surrounding it,” Russ said.

Brookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson did not anticipate anyproblems from the closure of West Manufacturer’s Boulevard.

“It’s not as much (traffic) on it as the one on the east,”Henderson said.