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story.lead_photo.caption - Photo by Richard Rasmussen

An excavation of lead-contaminated soil that was completed Wednesday at the Majestic Hotel site should move the property into the redevelopment phase, a milestone that has taken almost two years to reach since the demolition of three condemned structures at the site in late 2016.

Interim City Manager Bill Burrough told the Hot Springs Board of Directors Tuesday night tentative dates for public input sessions soliciting ideas on what to do with the property have been scheduled. Kansas State University's Targeted Assistance to Brownfields program will facilitate the meetings.

The public's ideas will be distilled into visual form through renderings created by students at the University of Arkansas' Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

"It's looking like the latter part of October or November," Burrough said. "We haven't solidified those dates. We're going to wait and make sure we get that residential compliance certificate. Before the end of the year, we will start the public input process for that property."

The certificate issued by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality will allow the city to redevelop the site free of any liabilities stemming from the previous owner of the 101 Park Ave. property. The city acquired the 5-acre site in September 2015 from Park Residences Development for $672,872 after condemning it earlier that year.

The certificate also removes any deed restrictions that could limit the property's redevelopment. Assistant City Manager/City Clerk Lance Spicer said Thursday that an environmental clearance is imminent.

"I do not have the exact analysis of the soil, other than confirmation from Terracon that the excavation area has been cleared of any elevated lead levels," Spicer said in an email. "Short of having the final report filed, (Terracon Consultants Inc.) considers the remediation project complete."

Spicer said Terracon needs the hauling manifest from the Saline County Regional Solid Waste Facility to complete its report. He said 17.96 tons of lead-contaminated soil was hauled to Saline County from an area about 8 feet long, 6 feet wide and 5 feet deep. It was backfilled with 30 cubic yards of topsoil Wednesday, he said.

Test samples showed lead concentrations in excess of the 200 milligrams/kilogram limit remained on site after the initial excavation on Aug. 28, requiring the city to dig beyond the 2-foot diameter and 3-foot deep area identified in the Property Development Document Decision ADEQ issued in May.

Samples collected from eight subsurface and groundwater borings during the environmental assessment completed last year showed lead concentrations at 447 milligrams/kilogram where the hotel laundry was located.

Local on 09/22/2018

Print Headline: City ready to move to redevelopment phase at Majestic site

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