Thursday, December 27, 2007

North River Results Still Withheld

City mum on soil tests for projects along river
Link (JG)

"Despite refusing to release nearly $50,000 worth of environmental studies on riverfront property pegged for future development, Fort Wayne’s redevelopment director said Wednesday nothing unexpected was uncovered.

Responding to a request from The Journal Gazette, the city released copies of three invoices to Avant Group of Fort Wayne for environmental studies done on the 29 acres north of the St. Marys River.

The invoices, dated in July, September and November, show several environmental studies were conducted on the land, including soil samplings at 26 randomly selected sites. In total, the city was billed $47,582 for the work on the land.

Greg Leatherman, redevelopment executive director, said the work included a review of all existing environmental documents from the state and the company. It also included testing the soil for PCB, a compound previously used as a coolant but banned in the 1970s because it was found to be a carcinogen. The soil tests also checked for metals, including lead, mercury and arsenic, Leatherman said."
"The city declined to release the results of the studies, saying they could be kept confidential because they were being used by the redevelopment commission in negotiations with a commercial entity."
"City officials previously said they are working to extend that option into next year to allow Mayor-elect Tom Henry to make the final decision. Leatherman said he was unsure whether an agreement to extend had been reached. The city paid $25,000 for this year’s purchase option, which could have been applied to the purchase price and expires at the end of the year."