Cleanup in fall at former Q3 JMC site

By Joshua Keeran -

For the past six years, city of Urbana officials have made it a mission to see that the former Q3 JMC Inc. property on the west side is transformed from its current abandoned, dilapidated state back to productive use.

On Tuesday, the Q3 Cleanup and Redevelopment Project got the kick-start it needed when City Council passed a resolution authorizing Director of Administration Kerry Brugger to enter into an agreement with Honeywell International/Grimes Aerospace Company to begin cleaning up a portion of the site.

Acquired by the city in May through the tax foreclosure process, the former Q3 JMC property contains land and manufacturing facilities on both sides of the abandoned railway at 605 Miami St. and 200 Beech St.

The agreement between the city and Honeywell/Grimes involves only the Beech Street location, a Grimes operation from 1942 until the facility was sold to Johnson Industries Corporation in 1978. In 1995, Q3 JMC acquired the site and operated there until 2008.

To help the city in its efforts to redevelop the Beech Street facility through environmental remediation under the Ohio Voluntary Action Program, which requires the city to secure a Covenant Not to Sue (CNS) from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Honeywell/Grimes has agreed to cover all the costs associated with the remediation of soil and/or groundwater containing perchloroethylene (PCE), a volatile organic compound that the Ohio EPA detected at the site in 2002.

The agreement states Honeywell/Grimes denies any liability relating to the contamination of the site and desires “to settle the matter without adjudication of any issue of fact or law.”

“They’ve been more than willing to work with us on their obligation to clean up the south portion of the west part (Beech Street facility) of the Q3 property,” Brugger said.

The cleanup area, he added, is roughly two to four acres located on the back side of the Beech Street facility, and Honeywell/Grimes plans to start mobilization in September with hopes of having the site cleaned up by the end of the year or early in the first quarter of 2018.

“They have to clean up their obligation to a point to where it’s going to be approvable by the Ohio EPA,” Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said. “The goal is to remove contaminated soil in order to improve the quality of the groundwater.”

Council member Doug Hoffman applauded Honeywell for agreeing to be part of the cleanup process.

“Honeywell has been an important company in our city for a long time, and I’m glad they are willing to take care of that obligation,” he said. “A lot of companies would hide from that, and I appreciate them stepping forward. It’s nice to know they care.”

Grimes Field, Monument Square projects

The north half of the historic terminal at Grimes Field will receive a new roof after council signed off on a request by administration to spend an amount not to exceed $73,500 to tear down the current roof to the decking and apply a new membrane roofing.

Brugger said the current membrane has been damaged, and as a result, the city will receive some insurance money to help offset the total costs.

He added a recent walk-through of the north terminal, which houses W&W Aviation and Mad River Air, revealed “29 coffee cans” scattered throughout the building to catch rain water dripping from the ceiling.

Several companies will be asked to submit quotes for the project, Brugger said.

In a separate matter, council approved a resolution authorizing Brugger to prepare and submit an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program for grant or loan funds to cover the cost of the Monument Square Water Main Improvements Project.

City Engineer Tyler Bumbalough said the project, which has an estimated price tag of just over $400,000, involves the replacement of the water mains along with 57 water service lines (up to the curb stop) within Monument Square and a block out in all four directions.

The current water mains, he added, are a mix of 6-, 8-, 10- and 12-inch pipes. The project would replace everything with 12-inch mains.

Bumbalough said with construction on the Monument Square Roundabout Safety Improvements Project scheduled to begin in 2019, city staff felt it should pursue funding to get the water mains that pass under Monument Square replaced before improvements to the roundabout are made, which includes new pavement.

Budget talks

Prior to council hearing the second reading of an ordinance adopting the city’s 2018 tax budget, Finance Director Chris Boettcher discussed the city’s anticipated financial outlook for next year during a public hearing.

According to Boettcher, the tax budget anticipates the General Fund to have revenues totaling $6,541,800 in 2018 (2.47 percent higher than the 2017 estimated revenue), while expenditures in that fund are expected to run $6,526,687.

Given the estimates, the city would be left with a positive balance in the General Fund of $15,113, which would be carried forward into 2019.

In other business:

•Council passed an ordinance rezoning a 1.023-acre parcel on Lippincott Lane in the Urbana Commons Planned Unit Development (Walmart) from fuel station only to fuel station and any other uses allowed under the B-2 General Business District.

•J&J Schlaegel was hired at a cost of $19,833 to construct a wing wall and footer at the North Russell Street box culvert that spans over Dugan Run.

Bumbalough said the current retaining wall (made of rock-filled, chain-link baskets) around the culvert is collapsing due to erosion. Not only is the damaged retaining wall causing flow issues in Dugan Run, but the fear is it could wash away the nearby bike path if not fixed, he added.

•Council’s July 4 meeting has been moved to 6 p.m. on July 11 in municipal court chambers.

By Joshua Keeran

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-508-2304 or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.