City Moving Forward with Testing at 7-acre Park: Errickson Stresses That No Soil Contamination Expected to Be Found

November 20, 2013
By
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Shown are examples of the head of “David” and “Discobolus”, the Discus Thrower, which he has replicated.

Planning and Development Director Jamie Errickson appeared before the Common Council on Monday night to update the body on soil and water testing at Seven Acre Park, at the request of Councilor Lorrie Bruno. According to Errickson, who had previously sent correspondence to the Council outlining the lack of evidence of a breach of the site’s approved environmental cap, the city is in the process of putting a licensed site professional (LSP) under contract to conduct the requested testing. That process could take as little as a few days to a week, but lab tests on the soil and water samples taken could then take several weeks more. “The issues being reported at Seven Acre do not appear to be a result of contamination on the site leeching up above the cap,” Errickson told the Independent, prior to Monday night’s meeting. “Unfortunately, given the time of the year and the testing that was requested, this is not the type of thing that (confirmed) in a couple of weeks.” According to Errickson, the testing will cost the city “a couple of thousand dollars,” and he can probably find someone who can visit and take the samples relatively soon, but the amount of time needed for the lab to conduct the required tests can vary based on outside factors. That makes it difficult to say when the results will be available to be shared with the council. In the meantime, Errickson said he feels confident that the cap that was constructed over the site prior to the construction of the park nearly a decade ago has not been compromised. “We have had an LSP visit the site (earlier this fall) and that report noted that there was no evidence that the cap has been compromised,” said Errickson. Errickson had previously pointed out that other factors could be contributing to reported problems including dying trees and reports of pets getting sick after visiting the park. Other contributing conditions such as accumulated pet litter, lack of E1proper drainage for the site and improperly planted trees may be contributing to the lack of vegetation and sick pets that have been reported by residents. “The important thing to keep in mind is that if there is a problem with the site or the cap that is covering the site, we want to find out about it,” said Errickson. “If we are going to move forward with plans to upgrade the park and increase usage of the park, we’re going to have to do this kind of testing anyway, so it makes sense to get it done now.”