October 4, 2012

Elkhart firm receives Logansport, region contract

Bruce Carter Associates awarded contract, will begin investigating contaminated sites soon.

by Amie Sites

— Bruce Carter Associates was awarded a contract Wednesday to begin efforts in cleaning up some of Logansport’s suspected contaminated properties.

The Elkhart-based firm was chosen to contract with a coalition of Logansport, Rochester and Fulton County leaders within the week, so it will begin the preliminary steps, said Logansport Community Development Director Chris Armstrong at the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Wednesday.

The three government entities were awarded a $686,500 federal grant in May from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to begin this process.

The grant will allow all three communities to bid their projects and investigate the contaminated sites.

Logansport will receive $330,000, Rochester will get $156,500 and Fulton County will receive $200,000, Armstrong said.

“The amount of money given to each area was decided by the three locations,” Armstrong said. “The amounts can be re-allocated later as needed.”

The grant will be used exclusively on Logansport’s Brownfield properties, which are vacant sites that are considered to be hazardous, contaminated or possibly contaminated, she said.

The money from the grant will not cover the cleanup, said Joel Markland, director of project development for Bruce Carter Associates. It will be used for assessment of specific sites and the activities that took place on the site, Markland said.

Markland anticipates the project to last three years. He said that the grant is set to expire Sept. 30, 2015 and he thinks it will last that long.

For phase one, the firm will target Brownfield locations, look into historic documents and conduct interviews to recognize the environmental condition of the properties.

“A property that is perceived to be contaminated, might not actually be contaminated,” Markland said. “We’ll be able to determine that when we begin phase two, which consists of taking ground and soil samples.”

In an agreement with the EPA, the city and Bruce Carter Associates have targeted 15 to 22 properties for phase one and 12 to 22 properties for phase two, Markland said.

“That’s a ballpark figure,” Markland said. “Since we are targeting that number, we might end up with more or less.”

The former Exide battery plant on Water Street and the former Trelleborg plant on General Street in Logansport have been cited as examples in past meetings of where the coalition could begin.

Markland said the amount of money spent on each property depends on the amount of areas using phase one and phase two.

The cost of phase one ranges from $2,500 to $4,000 and phase two is estimated to cost between $20,000 and $45,000, Markland said.

The grant will not cover the cost of cleanup but this preliminary work will put the city in the position to acquire the additional funding. Phase one will began as soon as a contract with the coalition is created for Bruce Carter Associations.