Contaminated soil in baseball stadium not such a big problem

North Augusta City Council members get an update on Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry from Owner’s Representative James Dean. JAMES FOLKER/STAFF

The contaminated soil found during construction on the new GreenJackets stadium in Riverside Village is not nearly as bad as it could have been, City Council learned Monday night.

 

The soil is not hazardous and is being removed and hauled to Three Rivers Solid Waste Authority in Jackson, S.C.

The water associated with it is clean enough to be disposed of through the sanitary sewer system, a much less-expensive option than more sophisticated disposal.

“Technically, in some parts of the country, you could drink what we’re calling contaminated,” Coun­cilman Fletcher Dickert said during a pre-meeting study session.

“If it were on the Georgia side, we could pump it into the river.”

Dickert and David McGhee, who have construction backgrounds, are working closely with contractors and city representatives hired to watch over the building project.

“We’re being abundantly cautious,” Dickert said.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control is applying federal standards, which are stricter than those set by other states, he said.

James Dean, Owner’s Representative for the city, discussed the soil during a general update on Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry, and said there’s enough dirt on hand to backfill what’s removed.

The project is on track, and making good progress, he said.

“Despite the rain, we keep on marching,” he told council members.

The steel has been erected for the concourse, the Clubhouse building’s foundations are in, and the outfield wall, which also serves as a flood wall, is in place.

“We’re confident that we will meet all time requirements,” Dean said.

In its regular meeting, council voted 6-0, with Bob Brooks absent, to continue to use Capstone Services LLC to provide management services for the Riverside Village project.

Dickert and McGhee both supported the measure, and council members were assured that the money to pay Capstone comes from project-generated revenues – specifically permit and business license fees paid to the city as part of construction – not the general fund.

In March, council approved $31,000 for Capstone, an Aiken company headed by Mark Chostner, to keep an eye on construction costs.

The company has billed about $6,000 a month, for a total of $24,000 so far. That leaves about $7,000 from the original allocation, and only revenue from the stadium has been used to date.

The way it’s set up, future expenditures can’t exceed the funding source, Mayor Bob Pettit said.

“That’s the limit,” he said.

Dickert said he didn’t expect a money problem.

“At the rate we’re going, there’s more than enough,” he said. “It’s well worth it.”

City Attorney Kelly Zier pointed out that Capstone invoices are reviewed before they’re paid, so city officials have oversight.

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Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or james.folker@augustachronicle.com

In other action

City Council gave first- and second-reading approval to an amended Comprehensive Plan, which is required by the state in exchange for the authority to set local zoning rules.

The previous draft plan included a list of recommendations, but council members edited some of them and made them “action items,” or goals to be accomplished.

Those include connecting the Greeneway to downtown, managing infrastructure upkeep, improving code enforcement and creating a parks master plan, among others.

Third-reading approval is still required.

– James Folker, staff writer

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