PARRSBORO - Before allowing any further recreational developments at the former Scott property, town council would like to make sure the soil is contamination-free.
Council confirmed at its March 27 monthly session that the soil on the site tested safe in 1994, after PCP's and other harmful contaminants were removed, but agreed that it would be a good idea to have it retested before entertaining the idea of increased public use. The site has been often looked at for its recreation potential since the Scott mill closed in 1993, and most recently has been touted as a desired location for a sponge park and splash pad.
"We had heard that the soil wasn't fit for anything," said Coun. Dawn McCully. "Because it's always coming up that we should use the Scott Paper property for this or this or this, and we don't even know if the soil is fit... We're looking at maybe trails, it's still being worked out. And there are always big plans over there, so it's better safe than sorry."
Coun. David Howe had an expert review current guidelines, revealing that the site had been contaminated by the mill operation, but had been given a clean bill of health after efforts to remove pentachlorphenol (PCP) and total petroleum hydrocarbons. That was 18 years ago.
"So probably it would be OK, but, if it's really important, it should be tested again," said Howe.
Deputy mayor Lisa Ward has been involved in a campaign to build a sponge park and splash pad to the community, and said the Scott property is still considered a prime location for that development.
"There was a whole plan developed for that property in previous years," she said. "One the sponge park and splash pad funds are in place and ready (that group) will be coming to committee-of-the-whole and council, and, if they are still looking at the same piece of property, they will look for approval."