LACONIA — City Manager Scott Myers said yesterday that he expects to solicit bids for excavating, removing and capping contaminated soils at an abandoned burn dump on Frank Bean Road and perhaps begin work at the site before winter.
The dump, which operated in the 1940s and 1950s, is part of a site that sprawls across some 75 acres on either side of Frank Bean Road, which also includes disused landfill owned by the city. The burn dump extends over four lots, three of which have been purchased by the city, and stretches along Frank Bean Road for about 1,000 feet and is estimated to contain about 110, 000 cubic yards of "burn dump material," including metals, volatile organic compounds and polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons. However, samples of private wells serving the four lots indicate no adverse impacts to the quality of drinking water.
Originally the city proposed treating each of the four properties differently, which required excavating, removing and disposing of a significant amount of contaminated material at an estimated cost of $1.38 million, excluding the cost of monitoring groundwater and maintaining pavement at the site for 15 years.
However, in June the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) approved an alternative plan to raze the buildings on the three properties it purchased, clear and grub approximately 87,000-square-feet and cap the site with two feet of clean fill. At the fourth property the city will pave a parking lot and landscape a grassy lawn, which will require excavating about 1,500-cubic-yards of material that will be spread over the other three properties.
By minimizing grading and eliminating excavation and disposal, the cost of the revised plan is estimated at $610,000, excluding the more than $300,000 spent to purchase the three lots. The 2014-2015 city budget included a borrowing of $1.2 million to fund the project.
"We control the properties and the money is in place," Myers said. "We'll go out to bid and start moving soil this fall."