Tuesday night's Greencastle City Council meeting gave officials a chance to talk about the underground fuel leak that forced the closure of one of the city's gas stations for nearly three weeks.
The owner/operator of the Marathon convenience store told the BannerGraphic Tuesday afternoon that the gas station was set to reopen today and would be selling fuel once again. The underground pipes and pumping systems that caused the leak of gasoline into the ground and city's sewage system have been replaced according to IDEM specifications.
City council members on Tuesday night learned from Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent that 80 dump truck loads of soil that had been contaminated with gasoline from the July 23 leak were removed from the area behind the gas station. Due to the lay of the land in the area, officials were hopeful the fuel stayed in the area between the filling station and Black Lumber, which is located on Indiana Street a block away.
Greencastle Sewer Plant Supt. George Russell told the council the leak was detected in time so there was no serious damage caused to the sewage plant.
"I think we were 12 hours lucky on what could have happened," Russell said.
Due to the old sewage plant's proximity to the new one, workers were able to divert the flow of the fuel-tainted sewage into the old plant, thus saving the new plant. Had the fuel infiltrated the new plant, it could have rendered it unusable.
"It was pretty scary there, for a period of time," Russell said.
As for the fuel-tainted sewage that was diverted to the old plant, Russell said it was allowed to aerate for a few days, which reduces the dangerous chemicals, and then it was processed through the plant as normal.
Fire Chief Newgent said piping was installed in the ground behind the gas station so that if there is any residual fuel in the ground, it can be pumped out and the soil will not have to be dug out again.
There was no cost estimate given on the clean-up.
In other business, the council:
* Amended a previous resolution granting tax abatement for Chiyoda USA by adding a blow-molding machine. The resolution passed unanimously.
* Learned from Meredith Williams with the county's tobacco cessation program that her organization has distributed packets of information concerning the city smoking ban, set to take effect Sept. 1, to area businesses in order to educate them about the issue.
* Approved the closing of the north and east sides of the courthouse square in Greencastle to allow for the annual Destination Downtown event for DePauw students. This year's event will take place on Aug. 21 and will be during the evening hours.
* Approved the closure of Indiana Street, from Washington to Walnut, and Walnut Street, from Indiana to Jackson, for the Putnam County Convention and Visitor's Bureau's Chalk Art Bash, set for Sept. 29.
* Approved the annual deployment of $40,000 from the city to the Greencastle/Putnam County Economic Development Center for operations.
* Approved a resolution contributing $100,000 on behalf of the Citizen's Advisory Commission for Industrial Development for Enterprise Park II. The Redevelopment Commission is in the process of moving ahead with $350,000 in costs to install water and sewer lines to the industrial park on Ballard Lane in front of the Putnam County Airport. There are seven lots which are being marketed for small manufacturing businesses.
* Approved a resolution giving the mayor permission to move forward with deeding 27 acres of land, known as Rokicki Park, to Ivy Tech for its new Greencastle campus. Also, they approved a real estate donation agreement outlining the donation of the land to the college, as requested by the college.
* Approved the first reading of an ordinance to install a stop sign at the corner of Fillmore Road and CR 50 South (the right angle). This is only for cars coming out of the new spec building that the city built, since the city added a road there, which made that intersection a "T" intersection. It was just a right-angle turn previously.
* Approved a list of fees for the general public to make copies and obtain copies of documents at city hall. City Attorney Laurie Hardwick said the city has always had a list of fees but did not have an official ordinance. This just clarifies those fees and sets a fee schedule the city can enforce.
The Greencastle City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at city hall.