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|Abingdon City Council Mulls Over Offer to Own Former Pottery Site
|Members of the Abingdon City Council are not unanimous in their support of a proposal that would give property that's contaminated with lead to the city.
Two representatives of Briggs Manufacturing, which owns the former Abingdon Pottery south plant on Sanitary Road and East Street, told the city council last week that it plans to clean up the six-acre parcel of property that EPA testing in 2007 revealed had high concentrations of lead in some spots. The two representatives also asked the city council to consider taking ownership of the property.
Aldermen discussed that option Monday night. Myron Hovind says he's against the city - on its own - having another six acres to maintain. Ron Stambaugh says accepting the land from Briggs could lead to problems, and he will vote no.
"Even after it's cleaned up, someone goes over there and gets lead poisoning, we're going to be responsible for it and the liability. As soon as our insurance company finds out that we own the place, what do you think is going to happen to our liability insurance?"
Mayor Roger Stegall disagreed.
"I don't know of anybody in Abingdon that's ever got lead poisoning from that down there. I played down there when I was a kid, we all did. If they're (Briggs) going to clean it up to the level that is acceptable to the state of Illinois, then I don't think we've got to worry about people getting lead poisoning."
Stegall says the city should take the property to have control over it, a sentiment echoed by Alderwoman Kathy Lagnese.
Briggs, under the supervision of the EPA, expects to spend up to $2.5 million on the clean-up that's to begin next month.
The city council talked about possibilities for the property, such as turning it into a park, a soccer field or perhaps selling it at some point. Alderman Jason Johnson called the land "six acres of opportunity." The council also discussed Indian Point Township's possible interest in at least part of the property.
The city council plans to come up with some requests of Briggs as conditions of taking ownership, including a contingency fund to help cover the cost of developing the property later. Aldermen took no action. The next meeting is September 8th.
The Abingdon City Council met in special session Monday night to discuss an offer to take over ownership of the former Abingdon Pottery south plant after the current owner, Briggs Manufacturing, cleans it up
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|08 25 09 by Newsroom
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