MOUNT VERNON — As part of the application process, the city of Mount Vernon held a public hearing concerning the assessment and cleanup of the old American National Can property on the northwest side of town.
No residents showed up at the hearing, which was attended by three city officials and one recently elected council member. According to Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis, the plan is to drill approximately 20 more holes, each about 20 foot deep, to assess the soils for contaminants. The $299,000 the city is applying for through the Clean Ohio grant will be used to drill those test borings and analyze the soil on the 44-acre site.
“From that we would expect to achieve solid estimates on what it would cost to remediate the site,” Mavis said. “We know the first two phases have clearly indicated that we have some contamination. It’s a matter of determining the extent of it and how best to clean it up. That’s what we expect to achieve from this.”
The grant will now be filed with the Ohio Department of Development, which will notify the city early next year if it is to receive the funds. Mavis said that if funds are secured, it would take approximately 10 months to get the tests and analysis completed. He said city officials would then attempt to get more Clean Ohio funds to clean up the contaminants, which would be done sometime in 2011 or 2012.
Around the city, Mavis said, two smaller projects have been going on this week. The first, the curb work on the brick streets at McKenzie and McArthur streets, has begun. One side of each street is nearing completion, with work still to be done on sidewalk and crosswalk areas. Mavis said there is some inconveniences for residents in the area, such as getting in and out of driveways due to the construction. Because it takes seven days before concrete is cured enough to drive on, city officials asked residents not to park in their driveway when work is being done on their side of the street.
The second project is complete and West High Street opened again Friday morning. The road had been closed for two days as work was completed on the railroad crossing near the B&O Depot.
The front entrance to City Hall is also closed as workers repair the steps leading into the building. Mavis said it cost $4,200 to grind off the sealant on the steps, clean out the cracks, sand them and put a new sealant on them.
Mavis also said the meetings with department heads concerning 2010 budgets have gone well.
“Everyone is doing well. When we asked them earlier this year to look at things and make sure they are not out of funds before the end of the year, it’s gone well. I’d like to congratulate the department heads on a good year maintaining their offices and providing services without an extreme amount of money,” he said.
There are two upcoming meetings for Mavis and other city officials. On Monday, the city will meet with the county commissioners to discuss the new jail contract, the enforcement of parking monitors on Chestnut and High streets around the county building, and any other issues that arise.
On Tuesday, there will be a meeting concerning the Coshocton Avenue widening and safety projects. The public will have a chance to ask questions of city officials and officials from the Ohio Department of Transportation. That meeting will be from 4 to 6 p.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene’s Family Life Center.