Soil study under way at former Cloverdale Hotel

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CLOVERDALE -- An environmental study has started on the property of the former Midway Motel in Cloverdale as part of a brownfield grant.

Rob Walker, principal geologist with Cardno RTC, told the Cloverdale Redevelopment Commission (RDC) at the regular meeting Wednesday that work has been started to assess any environmental issues at the 2007 N. Main St. location. The property is currently owned by Bud Porter of Fresh Start Properties, who purchased the land in a tax sale.

RDC President Wayne Galloway said the property, just off Interstate 70, is an eyesore as visitors exit the interstate and enter into the town.

"They did phase I already. They come in and see if there are any contaminants on the property. If they find anything, they automatically call for a phase II, which is what they are doing now," Galloway explained.

The second phase of the brownfield grant will include a comprehensive study of the property. Walker said he and a representative with the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) were on site Wednesday. The work on the grounds is expected to take a few days.

Walker said the study at the site will consist of 20 soil borings, in which they take water and soil samples to determine the subsurface and surface conditions. He added the concern stems from issues in the past with a methamphetamine lab recovered in 2010 and reports of a truck repair shop. The residual impacts of the meth lab from the solvents and compounds used can cause an issue, and information provided states the chemicals from trucks were discarded directly onto the ground.

"It wouldn't surprise me if we found very little," Walker noted.

RDC member Don Sublett asked if the final report from Cardno will include cost estimations to clean up the issues found on the land. Walker said the current scope of the project does not include that information, but they could work with the town to give a cost estimate.

In separate business, the RDC learned from Building Inspector Mark Cassida that the Indiana Department of Transportation has complained about debris ending up on their property and there have also been reports of debris on U.S. 231.

RDC member Mike Clark, who also serves as chief of police, said the old hotel is unsafe, and during a recent sweep of the area found fresh food wrappers from people staying in the building. Cassida noted the roof to the building "is almost non-existent".

RDC members said attempts have been made to have Porter clean up the property, but have all been declined. The minutes from the October 22 meeting notes Porter said "he was out of money."

"We thought he was going to do something with it, but basically, it's gotten worse," Galloway said, noting the area is covered in trash and large tires.

Jim Coffenberry, economic development specialist with West Central Indiana Economic Development District, brought information before the commission about a grant opportunity through Duke Energy to help prepare areas to be listed as shovel-ready.

Coffenberry suggested reaching out to property owner Eric Hayman to see if he is willing to utilize a piece of land he owns east of C Bar C. The land is west of the truck stop. He noted in the past, this is something Hayman has done to promote economic development in the town.

Sublett noted the area could be a prime location for the development of an industrial park, but Coffenberry noted based on previous surveys there may be an issue with the wetlands in the area.

William Dory, with the Greencastle-Putnam County Economic Development Center, informed the RDC that Cloverdale business professionals are invited to a Small Town and Merchant Program (STAMP) with retail and restaurant consultant Marc Wilson hosting a series of seminars.

The event is scheduled for April 9, and is being sponsored by the West Central ISBDC, Main Street Greencastle, City of Greencastle, Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center and Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce. He will cover topics focusing on social media, online tools and digital marketing.

Reservations can be made by contacting Tami VanRensselaer at 765-653-2474 or by email at by April 6.

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