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Officials investigate contaminated soils at garage site, consider modified plan for facility

June 21, 2017 Government No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – On Wednesday, the Board of Selectmen voted to have the town work with Fuss & O’Neill to further investigate contaminated soils found at the Public Works site near the Farmington River.

Officials said the discovery of the issue came about during test borings and underground radar at the site in preparation to build a new public works facility.

The contamination is believed to have resulted from two fuel storage tanks – an underground one that was abandoned in the 1950s and an above-ground structure that was on site in the 1930s.

Selectmen voted to have Fuss & O’Neill investigate the issue further and determine what course of action will be needed. Cost of the consulting work is estimated at $29,500, although the firm states it could be as low as $21,500.

Work for the new public works facility is expected to go out to bid soon. While the discovery of some contaminated soils will add some cost to the project, selectmen were adamant that the cost not only needs to stay within the $3.825 million approved by voters in November of 2016 but should also be done as efficiently as possible.

The discovery, however, could result in a change to the concept plan at the time of the vote. Then the idea was to build the facility near the current building on Old River Road. However, officials are now investigating the possibility of building it next to the sewage treatment plant and relocating the existing ballfield to the site of the current building, essentially flipping the two. The idea needs further vetting but could allow for additional parking and better direct access off Route 179, officials said. It would also facilitate a better transitions since the department could use the old facility while the new one was being built, town officials said.

See more in a future issue of the Valley Press.

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