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Council approves further work for scrapyard cleanup

DIXON – Progress continues with cleanup efforts at the Dixon Iron and Metal scrapyard, and the city recently signed off on services for the next phase of priming the property for redevelopment.

The City Council earlier this week approved a $157,600 contract with Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental for further consulting services at the 78 Monroe Ave. site.

Fehr Graham has coordinated with the city and state and federal Environmental Protection Agency officials during the last couple of years.

The contract includes continuing to coordinate with the agencies, to determine long-term operations when the city becomes responsible for the site, preparing a plan for further sampling, processing data gathered by the EPA, creating planning documents for the future of the site, and preparing reports and a grant application for further cleanup.

“This gets us to the edge of redevelopment,” Public Works Director Matt Heckman said.

In August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came to do about $3 million of time-critical cleanup work for the scrapyard after tests found that contaminants spread to the groundwater in the Rock River.

Work included replacing contaminated soil with clean soil, disposing of hazardous materials and restoring the property by back filling excavated areas and planting grass, as well as building an interceptor trench to capture any flowing contaminants.

The city acquired the property earlier this year through abandonment court, after about 2 years of extending a contract to buy the scrapyard while environmental tests were conducted.

The state EPA helped the city with the initial environmental assessment process, at no charge, and the council approved a $122,000 contract last year with Fehr Graham to do further tests.

Those tests found levels of heavy metals and polychlorinated biphenyl, or PCBs, that exceeded EPA standards, and the IEPA recommended the site to the federal agency for cleanup.

Earlier this month, the City Council approved spending about $30,000 on additional samplings that aren’t covered by federal dollars.

Next meeting

The City Council next meets at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

Go to or call City Hall at 815-288-1485 for an agenda or more information.

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