Monroe County Committee looking out for homeowners Committee discusses specifics of demolition


Contaminated parcel of land

On Wednesday evening, the Monroe County Property and Maintenance Committee met. The majority of their meeting focused on the parcels of land that they inherited, due to it being a tax-delinquent property. The parcel is located next to the railroad tracks, near Clifton and Walrath Street, in the City of Sparta.

The DNR came in and tested for any contamination that may be present, within the first four feet of soil. Every bit of the site was contaminated, and at high levels. The property is now considered a brownfield, by the DNR, which is defined as “a former industrial or commercial site, where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.”

The Property and Maintenance Committee has now figured out some options with the property, with the biggest issue being that there are neighboring homes. The County originally did not want the property, but now they are stuck with it, and it's contaminated. The neighboring homes may not be eligible to receive any type of funding to remove, or even test, for the contamination, without the help of the county.

The committee decided to break the testing and removal into two parts. The removal piece, as logically expected, will be the latter part of the effort. The committee is going to bring in the neighboring property owners to next month’s meeting and update them on where they are in the process. They will ask if the county can test their property for them, because the county can get some partial grant funding for the endeavor. After testing is complete, and they have some idea of how far or deep they will have to go to get rid of the contamination, they will address the costs of removal of the contaminated soil.

Former Department of Human Services Building Demolition

Another topic of discussion at the committee meeting Wednesday evening, was on the northernmost building, at the old County B site, also known as Building A. The building used to be the Department of Human Services Building.
As discussed at a meeting in December, the committee and the county board voted to demolish the building. With the demolition comes a lot of nuances, including some sporadic-temporary power. Committee member, Zach Zebell, said, "We shouldn't have to run a temporary line from where building A was. Why don't we just put in the permanent power for the garages from the transformer by the boiler?"

The discussion came up as Derek Pierce, Monroe County Property Manager, mentioned that Xcel Energy was wanting to directional bore the new power source. Zebell offered some inputs, as why they do not just trench, or use overhead lines. He said, "It seems like they think we have an open checkbook, because they are not talking about the cheaper options."

The committee directed Pierce to look at other options for the power, before the electrical contractor (One Electric, out of Portage, WI) gets there on Friday. Zebell said, “If it delays demolition a few days, but saves taxpayer dollars, then I’m all for it.”

Some sort of power must be cut and moved, before Gerke Excavating can start demolition. Gerke is hoping to start demolishing the building in the next week, and has the asbestos removal scheduled for early next week. Pierce said, “I’ll see what I can come up with. I’ll be on the phone at 6 a.m. on Thursday morning.”

Kyle Evans, Monroe County Herald, Monroe County board, contamination


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