Spec. Building given green light from DEQ

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 9, 2007

The 50,000 square foot speculative building in Brookhaven’sindustrial park has been officially cleared of chemicalcontamination by the Mississippi Department of EnvironmentalQuality, an economic development official said Thursday.

Cliff Brumfield, executive vice president of theBrookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, said MDEQ hadnotified officials that the building had been cleared for furtherconstruction and occupancy. The news came after testing foundcontamination had decreased to acceptable levels.

“The building was tentatively cleared a few months ago, but wehave now been given the full green light for completion of thebuilding and putting it to good use,” he said. “Through cooperationbetween MDEQ, city, county and the chamber’s Industrial DevelopmentFoundation, we can finally turn the building into an economic assetfor our county.”

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Development of the speculative building, which was built as acooperative venture to provide a location for potential industries,began in the late 1990s. However, it was effectively stalled whenit was discovered that dioxins from an adjacent property hadleeched into the soil, Brumfield said.

Two years ago, local officials reached out to MDEQ to againaddress what could be done at the facility to allow efforts tocontinue.

“It had been tried before, but in this instance it proved toquite fruitful,” Brumfield said.

Further testing by MDEQ found that time had removed many of thedioxins on the site and there would be very little in cleanupcosts.

“MDEQ has performed intensive testing of the facility andsurrounding area as well as in-depth research into the cause of thedioxin issue at no direct cost to the city or county. We greatlyappreciate their assistance,” Brumfield said.

The “green light” given by MDEQ allows economic developmentofficials to move forward on a tentative agreement with aBrookhaven industry that has expressed interest in occupying thebuilding, he said.

“There is an agreement pending with Sola Fide to utilize thebuilding as their main facility,” Brumfield said. “Sola Fide hassought to occupy the facility for several years; and the city votedTuesday night to move forward with advertising for bids on concretework to complete the building.”

The city has secured a $250,000 Mississippi DevelopmentAuthority grant to complete its portion of the concrete work tocomplete the structure, he said.

Other improvements, such as company offices, surfacing driveareas and installing loading docks, will be completed by Sola Fideunder the tentative agreement, Brumfield said.

“We hope to see concrete work begin in early 2008 with thecompany able to move in this spring,” he said.