|[no subject]||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Fred H Olson -- WB0YQM (FRED%JWHvx.cis.umn.edu)|
|Date: Mon, 25 Jan 93 13:53 CST|
Mpls Seward cohousing update Mon 01-25-1993 Fred H. Olson ( WB0YQM ) Becca Brackett ( N0CAH ) 1221 Russell Av N Minneapolis, MN 55411 (612) 588-9532 (Internet: fred%jwh [at] vx.cis.umn.edu) On Tue. 1/19/92 we got a rather depressing report on ground water pollution at the site. New estimates of cleanup costs were $150,000 to do further testing and $1,000,000 to clean it up. The report was written by an engineer for the MCDA - Mpls Community Development Authority. Curiously when he presented the report verbally at a meeting he gave double those numbers - exactly. I wonder if he really meant plus *or minus* %100... In any case the prospects for the site looked grim. Sunday night I took the report and some other documents for a Bob Kadwell, a friend and neighbor of ours to review. Bob is a geologist that has a consulting company that does pollution abatement work among other things. He also was active on the board of the Willard-Homewood Organization (WHO) here 10+ years ago. WHO was instrumental in turning around the demolish and hope to build new approach to deteriorated housing here. The Urban Homestead program and non-profit rehab saved my neighborhood form the wrecking ball. and WHO was a part of it. WHO was one organization featured in Harry Boytes book _Backyard Democracy_ . Any way Bob treats reports from the MCDA with the skepticism of experience. Some of his points: The engineer's reccomendation against acquiring the UVB site for housing seems to assume that the MCDA or new owner would pay for the cleanup. This is not necessarily true. The current owner or the party responsible for the pollution is liable and may be elgible for Petro Fund reimbursement. The Petro Fund is a state program funded by gas taxes. There is ground water contamination and it is a problem but may not interfere with using the site for housing as long as the polluted water is not used for drinking which of course we would not. The next step is to get the more detailed reports which Bob will look at for us. In the mean time Joan Orke of our group have had some other interesting conversations. We talked to Caren Dewar Saxton the neighborhood developer. She was pleased to hear our new insights and concurred with our plan to become somewhat more activist in this matter. Joan also talked to her friend at the PCA who is in the 'tanks and leaks' division. She will come to our meeting Thursday and may even be interested joining the core group! Curiously, coincident with these turns of events we have had increased interest in the Seward core group from a number of families. Caren had emphasized the perception of risk problem - "it sounds bad; I dont want to live there". I assured her that our group is aware that most sites in the city (where we want to be) are likely to have some pollution problems. And that I expect we will try to base our perception and decision on developing the site on solid information. I'm not ready to commit to living there since we dont have all the information yet. On the other had I am not ready to give up on this site yet. A few other points Caren raised: 1) the site is zoned industrial and this may reduce the cleanup requirements and lower the cost amking cleanup for housing impractical. 2) The perception problem affects marketability and second use potential which affects financing. 3) If we become property owners of the site we might take on liability for past pollution. Also we need to find out more about the history of the site and whether the truck company is comletely defunct so we can tell who is liable and is it elgible for Petro Fund. Ahh, when you find answers to some questions what comes next? New questions and problems, of course. Fred
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