Mayer looks to clean up creamery site

by Lorrie Ham

The city of Mayer is asking the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to complete the cleanup of the old creamery property located at the corner of 5th Street and Bluejay Avenue. At the council’s May 13 meeting, the council authorized the city administrator to make that request.
A recent oil leak at the site led to the discovery of an underground tank. City staff believes that a stand pipe must have had a plug which was dislodged, leaving an opening to the tank. Water got into the tank, which caused existing oil to rise to the surface and flow out of the pipe.
Clean-up on the property was conducted on April 20, involving eight Mayer firefighters and an environmental cleanup crew from Determan Brownie. The tank was drained and the spilled oil was contained.
The city acquired the creamery property in March 2010 as a result of tax forfeiture. Phase I and II Environmental Assessments were completed at the site, followed by a Limited Site Investigation the next year. The city cleaned up oil barrels, contaminated soil and other volatile chemicals at the site, but none of the investigations had revealed a tank on the site.
In conversations with the MPCA about the matter, City Administrator Luayn Murphy was told that the city could request the state to clean up the site, since it had completed the required environmental assessments.
In addition to requesting the MPCA to remove the tank and complete the cleanup on the property, the city is also asking for consideration of the expenses that were incurred on April 20. The city has received an invoice from Determan Brownie for $2,810 and is expecting an engineering bill from American Engineering and Testing. Eight firefighters also spent four hours at the site that day.
According to Murphy, a 90 percent grant may also be available through the federal Petro Fund for the April 20 cleanup.
The future of the creamery site will be discussed when the city’s Economic Development Authority meets next week. The city has developed a list of possible uses for the property.
In another matter, Mayor Mike Dodge reported that over five boxes of medicine were collected at the city’s first Drug Takeback Day on April 27. Household medicines including prescription drugs, over the counter medicine, vitamins, supplements and pet medicines were collected during the four hour event.
Reasons for conducting a drug takeback include the growing prescription drug abuse problem, accidental poisoning and an opportunity to properly dispose of unused medicine. Dodge thanked Carver County Sheriff’s Deputy Jake Hodge for his work on the project.
The mayor also thanked Waste Management for a successful spring cleanup event on April 27.
In other business, the city council:
• approved a bid of $7,312.80 to Overline & Sons for jetting and televising about one-third of the city’s sewer system. The process is repeated each year for one segment of the system.
Overline submitted the lowest of five quotes. Councilmember Daniel Lueth asked if the process could cause back-ups, based on a resident’s comment he got last year. Murphy responded that the process does cause pressure in the lines, but shouldn’t cause back-ups. After discussion, the council decided to notify residents in the project area by placing door hangers prior to the work.
• passed a pair of resolutions appointing Clayton Quaas and David Weibel to the Mayer Fire Department.
• appointed Janet Vierling to a one-year term on the Mayer Senior Commission to fill a vacancy.
• approved a bid of $4,910 to Wm. Mueller and Sons to complete the street patching project for 2013. Mueller submitted the lower of two bids.