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Yorkville OKs pollution study at downtown redevelopment site

Updated: October 5, 2012 6:07AM

YORKVILLE — The city has approved a pollution study that aldermen hope will clear another spot downtown for redevelopment.

Called a brownfield study, it will determine if three parcels next to each other — the former Grainco FS property, a parcel owned by the Kendall County Farm Bureau and a city parking lot — are polluted enough to need a cleanup and, if so, how much work needs to be done.

The parcels are about 50 feet west of Route 47, between Hydraulic Avenue and Van Emmon Street.

The study will pave the way for possible redevelopment of the parcels. The Farm Bureau and the city still own two of the parcels; but the third parcel now belongs to Imperial Investments, which is in the midst of an ambitious redevelopment of a block of downtown on the west side of Route 47 between Van Emmon and Hydraulic.

With the possibility of Imperial wanting to do something with the property, city officials thought it would be a good idea to go ahead with study for all three of the parcels.

The former Grainco FS property, which Imperial owns, had a lumber yard, a feed mill, an equipment repair services, a fertilizer supply, an animal feed supply — and had a distributor of kerosene, oil, gasoline and diesel for local farmers until about 2004.

The Farm Bureau building has been used for cold storage, a slaughterhouse, a meat processing facility and a food pantry.

The city parking lot was undeveloped until about 2000, when it was paved.

The property already has undergone the first phase of a brownfield study, completed in 2005. But the rest of the study was never done, and that first phase was considered good for only up to 180 days after it was completed.

After completion of the first phase of the study in 2005, the site was included in the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s cleanup fund. It was taken out later, and city officials are hoping to get it included again so funds to help clean up the site for redevelopment might be available, if necessary.

Aldermen approved hiring Terracon Consultants LLC to do the new study, which will consist of a new Phase I, to determine the condition of the property since 2005, and a Phase II that never was done.

The city’s engineering firm, Engineering Enterprises Inc. of Sugar Grove, recommended Terracon to the council.

The study itself will probably only take about two weeks, but the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has 90 days to make comments and review reports before a final report is released, city officials said.

The study will cost between $28,500 and $32,500, which the city will pay out of downtown tax increment financing funds. Officials said there is about a $250,000 balance in the downtown TIF right now.

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