400 Broadway fails DEC inspection

Mandates village add more dirt over contaminated dirt

SARANAC LAKE — The Department of Environmental Conservation has found that the village has not kept the standard in the engineering control of one of the two properties known as 400 Broadway.

During the DEC’s periodic assessment of the property, it found the village’s application of a soil cover on the contaminated 1.39-acre Lot 3 has been insufficient.

“The engineering control (EC) is not in place as designed if 6 inches of topsoil and vegetative cover have not been completed and established,” the letter from the DEC states.

Lot 3’s history of manufacturing and industrial use, including the manufacturing of land mine fuses and aircraft landing gear on site, at one point, resulted in a DEC remediation of the site from 2007-08.

The soil remains contaminated, which the DEC mandated has to be covered — but not necessarily with soil — asphalt, concrete sidewalks and concrete building slabs are acceptable options. Additionally, a prospective developer could have the contaminated soil removed.

The DEC did not find contamination on the 1.75-acre Lot 4, which makes up the other half of the property.

“We’ve been adding our organics — they want more,” said village Manager John Sweeney at Monday night’s Board of Trustees meeting. “We just didn’t have enough.”

He said the village had been using its own in-house compost, from a site behind the wastewater plant. He said not enough was applied, and not enough stuck, and that the village Department of Public Works is looking at buying more fill from a contractor to apply at the site.

The DEC is requiring that the village submit a plan for correcting the deficiency within 45 days.

Over the last year, 400 Broadway has gone to auction unsuccessfully three times — twice to sealed bids that were deemed too low, and once to no takers.

The village plans to add a driveway or curb cut onto the property from state Route 86 to increase its desirability. The village then plans to go out to bid to a real estate firm in the village to broker the sale of 400 Broadway to a prospective buyer.

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