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October 24, 2014

Anniston Public Building Authority Board approves increase for debris removal at DHR site

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Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 6:24 pm | Updated: 6:29 pm, Tue Jul 1, 2014.

It will cost at least $10,000 more than first planned to remove slightly contaminated debris left from construction of the Department of Human Resources building in Anniston.

The Anniston Public Building Authority on Tuesday voted to spend up to $15,000 to dump the remaining debris at the landfill of Industrial Waste Inc. in Ragland. The cost will be added to the $190,000 the authority has already spent this year to remove most of the debris.

City Engineer Kevin Ashley, who attended the board meeting, said the cost likely will not exceed $10,500, and noted there is not much debris left to remove. Since May, contractor Earth Services of Alexandria has hauled away 12,666 cubic yards of debris from behind the DHR building, Ashley said. There was about 13,500 cubic yards of total debris at the site, he said.

"The whole project will be finished by the end of the week, weather permitting," Ashley said.

Toby Bennington, city planner, who attended the meeting, said the extra cost will be paid with money remaining from the $12 million bond obtained to construct the DHR building, which was completed in 2012. Bennington said the debris was contaminated and needed a landfill that specializes in material from brownfield sites, a term used by federal regulators to identify former industrial sites that may contain pollutants, thereby making them difficult to redevelop.

“The primary contaminants were oil and very low levels of arsenic," Bennington said.

Bennington said the debris remained behind the building for more than a year because city officials wanted to determine if some of the bond money could be spent to remove it.

During the meeting, the authority first considered a contract to allow spending up to $25,000 to remove the debris. However, several authority members voiced concerns that such an allowance was too high and reduced it to $15,000.

"This is still a contract and if they bill us for more, say, $20,000, we'd have to pay that," said Debra Foster, authority member. "That's my only concern."

Bennington said once the debris is removed, the property will be flattened and be available for use by the city. Bennington said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management has stated that once the cleanup is done, the land will be safe to use for just about anything other than homes.

"That land is planned for future use ... the city needs to enter into that discussion with the PBA," Bennington said. "There has been some discussion the property be used as part of the Chief Ladiga Trail ... that's just something we need to look at."

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