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Board’s resolution OKs ‘end use’ for Pulvair site

By Bill ShortFlag City Logo

The Millington Board of Mayor and Aldermen has unanimously adopted a resolution approving a “return-to-nature” format as the “end use” for the Pulvair site.
Board members took the action during their Sept. 8 regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Alderman Frankie Dakin and seconded by Alderman Larry Dagen.
In the vicinity of Big Creek Church Road and the Canadian National Railroad, the city owns a parcel of land known as the Pulvair site, which has been identified as a “hazardous waste” site.
The resolution states that various “end-users” of products manufactured by the Pulvair Corp. have undertaken an “environmental cleanup” of the site under the supervision of the state of Tennessee.
It notes that the board had originally approved a “dog park” to be the end use for the property. But for “economic reasons,” Millington’s previous city managers determined and recommended that, after “remediation activities” are completed, the property be allowed to “return to nature” with the planting of vegetation.
The resolution also states that this approach will save the city additional funds that would be required for the maintenance of a park. Also, the “protective covering” over the site will help with erosion control and provide an open “green space.”
During discussion shortly before the vote, Alderman Thomas McGhee asked whether the site will be “usable in any fashion.” City Attorney Charles Perkins replied that it will “pretty much” be used by the “birds and snakes.”
“At some point, I guess you could timber it,” he added, “if the trees get big enough.”
While noting that it was “a really dirty site,” Perkins said the Pulvair group has already spent at least $15 million on it and will spend “several million” more to “finalize” it.
Mike McLaren, who represents the companies that are doing the work, said they expect to remove dirt and replace it this fall and in the spring of 2015. He expressed hope that the remediation will be completed in late 2015 or early 2016.
“That’s our projection,” he acknowledged, “but it’s all dependent on the state and engineering.”
In response to a question by Alderman Mike Caruthers, McLaren said Millington will own the property when it is “fully remediated.”
“The city foreclosed in 2001,” he recalled. “And we’ve been working with you, but primarily with the state.”
McLaren said anyone who expresses a desire to purchase the property will have to go through “a round of testing.” But he noted that the state will have signed off on it “long before then.”
“So, we’ve got sort of a mentor in the state, and I guess you do, too,” he told the board members. “It’s overseeing every step of the way.”
In accordance with an “arrangement” made with Millington six years ago, McLaren said the Pulvair group has submitted a proposed contract to remove “a lot of cubic yards” of dirt and replace it with some purchased from the Industrial Development Board.
When that is completed, he said, the state will either declare the site “good to go” or instruct the group to “do more.”
“If you recall, at one point, there was a big chemical plant out there,” McLaren said. “We made the decision to tear that down, rather than just clean up around it.”
He noted that there is a “restrictive covenant” on the site that Mayor George R. Harvell Jr. originally signed. When the law changed, that was modified and signed by Mayor Terry Jones during his first term. When the remediation is completed, McLaren said, the state will want another restrictive covenant. Anyone who seeks to “lift” that will be required to “jump through a lot of hoops.” And then, the state will have to approve it.

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