Oak Creek — With the completion of contaminant testing in June, the city will finally be able to spend a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to prepare Lake Vista property for re-use.
To move the process along, the Common Council on May 6 approved a payment of $40,820 to environmental engineering firm Environ to test 30 acres of city-owned land at the former Peter Cooper plant for contamination.
The test results will help determine how the city should spend the $375,000 grant on debris and contamination removal and bluff restoration, said City Administrator Gerald Peterson. The city received the DNR's grant in June 2013 but has not been able to use it until this final leg of testing occurs.
"We feel we're making really good headway on the project," Peterson said. "(This) approach was necessary to continue the work on that site to bring it from an unused and closed industrial site to a usable, publicly owned and accessible-to-the-public lakefront property."
Arsenic is a major concern at Lake Vista, which may require up to 2-foot soil covers. Already, it has arsenic levels that exceed the state limit of 10 parts per million, he said.
"None of these are surprises. We hope that this is the last of it," said Peterson.
With remediation, the city can move forward public park development at the land's north end, including bike paths, native plantings, stormwater management systems and the new Lake Shore Boulevard roadway. About $10 million in bonds are invested for city development.
Also this year, the city expects to gain ownership of 56 acres owned by DuPont and 57 by Epic/El Paso Energy at the south end. Privately owned properties within Lake Vista's 250 acres, north of Bender Park, are each in different stages of remediation.
"Each property is a little bit different in what their ultimate goal is," said Doug Seymour, director of community development.
Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
- Chick-fil-A seeks Oak Creek's Drexel Town Square for new restaurant
- Assisted living facility eyes Oak Creek neighborhood for new location
- Oak Creek police officers negotiate 2 percent wage increase
- Oak Creek funds non-union city employee wage increases for first time since 2011
- Azura Memory Care seeks to build 13th Wisconsin location in Oak Creek
- Oak Creek police report: Jan. 22, 2015 issue
- Open gym available Saturday nights at Oak Creek West Middle School
- Correction: Oak Creek has three alderman positions up for re-election
- Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek gets healthy addition: Froedtert facility
- Oak Creek pays its 60th year 'forward' with monthly acts of service