FAIRHOPE – The need for fewer soil tests at the location of the Fairhope city clock means the city should not have to dig up the site again and can move forward with plans for the site, County President Jack Burrell said.
The Fairhope City Council voted Monday, Nov. 9, to pay $3,450 to the engineering company Goodwyn, Mills and Caywood for one soil sample.
Burrell said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management had originally asked for 28 samples, which would have required digging up the site again at a higher cost. He said Richard Johns, city public works director, discussed the issue with ADEM pointing out that the site has already been dug up and buried fuel tanks on the property removed.
“They came back and all they want is one soil sample,” Burrell said. “So, to bring in a crew to go in and bore down to the prescribed location and take one soil sample, Goodwyn, Mills and Caywood is proposing $3,450 as opposed to the I think the $25,000 to $30,000 it would have taken to dig that back up and get the 28 samples, so we’re asking you to approve the $3,450 for what we hope will be the last soil sample and then we can bring closure to that.”
The city purchased the site at the northeast corner of Fairhope Avenue and Section Street in January. The Fairhope City Council voted to pay half the purchase price of $525,000 with the Fairhope Single Tax Colony paying the rest of the cost. The site will become city property under the agreement.
For many years, the property had been the site of a car dealership. Four buried fuel tanks that had at the location for decades were dug up earlier this year and the soil tested for contaminants before the purchase was completed.