“Contaminated soil left untouched for years in a park and other locations in Ramapo is finally on track to be removed.
The board for the local sewer district awarded a $445,625 contract last week to a New Jersey company to dispose of thousands of cubic yards of soil piled in Sloatsburg’s Community Field and three locations in Hillburn.
Kevin Downes Tree Service Co. won the contract with the lowest of five bids to haul away an estimated 15,000 cubic yards of soil.
The contract must now go before the Rockland Legislature for approval.
“I really am hopeful that we’ll be able to move this really quickly for us … to move forward and get it cleaned up and put it behind us,” Hoehmann said.
Dianne Philipps, executive director of the sewer district, said the contractor will have 120 days to remove the soil.
The soil issue burst into public view in late March.
Residents were incensed to discover that “non-hazardous contaminated soil” have remained stockpiled in the Sloatsburg Community Field, Gates of Praise Church in Hillburn, and two locations near an unused Hillburn reservoir since 2009.
The Town of Ramapo was blamed for failing to fulfill a 2012 intermunicipal agreement with the district for $800,000 to remove the soil. The town has already been paid $400,000.
Christopher St. Lawrence — the ex-Ramapo supervisor stripped of his office after being found guilty of securities fraud — was on the sewer board at the time Ramapo sought and was awarded the contract to remove the soil.
Thomas Humbach, county attorney, said Rockland’s $2 million lawsuit against Ramapo to recover the funds as well as damages remains ongoing.
“This thing is in its very early stages and we’re pursuing it aggressively,” Humbach said.
Read the complete Journal News story here.