Land use specialist Mike Finkbeiner (the guy to call for all your questions regarding waterfront or dry land building) has a question for our town leaders concerning their double – secret – probation plan for soil remediation at the high school:
Surveyor’s only question was “where’s the plan?” Will we need to go
to Hartford to learn there is /was no “phased remediation plan? “
If that’s the case, and AECOM never said there was such a plan in the
first place, didn’t the RTM have the right to know that before they
voted the funding in May?
Finkbeiner is complaining that the town is claiming that there is a “staged remediation plan” that’s in place for cleaning up the contaminated soil under the proposed Music Palace, but they won’t release it, and apparently Hartford doesn’t know anything about it. Why?
I can think of two possible reasons:
1. There is no such plan and our leaders therefore have no idea how much remediation will cost, notwithstanding their promise to the contrary made to the RTM; or
2. There is a plan, the town knows what the clean-up will cost and fears that if that cost is disclosed it will be the final stake through the heart of the Palace.
Neither one is a good way to run a railroad.
(But a third explanation might be: chief complainant in this matter is the perennial High School gadfly Bill Efros, who sues the town over everything and anything concerning the school, from stadium lighting to the color of graduation gowns. Efros lives way up on Old Church Road, 200′ higher than the school property and thus unlikely to be harmed by water (which runs down, not uphill). That doesn’t mean the town shouldn’t respond to his questions or the questions of the consultant he’s hired, but it’s understandable.)
Publication: Greenwich Time; Date: Jun 10, 2012; Section: News; Page: A1
ONLY IN PRINT
Questions remain on high school auditorium project, surveyor says
By Lisa Chamoff
Finkbeiner, who runs Land Water Solutions, a Greenwich firm that resolves land use issues, recently put in a Freedom of Information Act request to AECOM, the environmental consultant the town hired after contaminated soil
was discovered at the school last summer. At issue is how the building committee for the project, which is known as MISA and is expected to cost at least $37 million, is aiming to proceed with construction before polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, are removed from the rest of the property.
In order to prevent contaminated groundwater from infiltrating the MISA site during construction of the orchestra pit, which will be built 12 feet below the water table, the committee has proposed installing a cofferdam, a watertight
structure to enclose the area that sits under water.
Finkbeiner said the high school property sits on an old peat bog, and he doesn’t believe it would be possible to
install a watertight structure. “If you’re driving it into a peat bog, where do you get the seal?” Finkbeiner said during a recent interview.
In his FOI request, Finkbeiner asked why the site plan filed with the federal Environmental Protection Agency,which will decide whether the MISA project can be “bifurcated,” or proceed before toxins are removed from the rest ofthe high school property, doesn’t include the cofferdam. He also requested a site plan that demonstrates the feasibility of constructing MISA prior to remediation.
Finkbeiner said he filed a complaint with the state Freedom of Information Commission after the town didn’t respond to his request.