Residents living near the former Keystone Metal Finishing plant site should soon be able to get results from the latest round of environmental testing on ground water samples collected from monitoring wells at the Humboldt Street location, according to the Town Council.
Samples were collected from 18 wells, according to Town Councilman Gary Jeffas. Samples from two additional wells could not be collected because they were broken and need to be repaired.
This is the first testing done at the site since 2008, when engineers found elevated levels of some hazardous substances but concluded there was no health risk to residents in the area. At that time, engineers from the PMK Group recommended further testing and monitoring of the site.
Test results on ground water from the contaminated Keystone site should soon be available.
A metal finishing plant that opened in town in 1947, the site required extensive remediation after it closed in 1991. Remediation of groundwater and soil at the site began in 1996, two years after the plant was demolished. And since then, the town’s engineers have continued to monitor the success of the remediation and any ongoing environmental impact of the contamination.
The latest round of testing, the results of which should be available before the end of the month, will again focus on ground water, although some air quality tests may be conducted in residences near the site, if necessary.
The cost of the testing is covered by a $60,000 grant from the Hudson County Economic Development Corporation that was awarded to Secaucus in August.
Parking coming to Kieswetter
Construction will soon begin for a new, long-promised parking lot on Kieswetter Lane, which residents hope will improve parking availability there and along Farm Road.
“This lot should add about 17 to 18 parking spaces in that area,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli.
The lot is near Secaucus Commons, a new 10-unit condo development being built on Paterson Plank Road and Keys Leader Landing. Residents in the area had been promised additional parking when the development was approved by the Planning Board, but have recently expressed frustration that the development is nearly completely built, but the promised lot is not.
“The parking down there, you should see it. It’s atrocious,” said one Farm Road resident on Tuesday.
Area residents have another concern about Secaucus Commons. They believe it will exacerbate flooding from an existing residential development, the Riverview Garden Apartments, which they say drains into their yards. Earlier this year, however, the planning board approved an underground water retention system that should ease flooding in the area.
A similar flood mitigation system is used at the Secaucus Recreation Center on Koelle Boulevard. Essentially, flood water gets collected in a series of underground pipes. The water remains in the pipes until it can be safely discharged without creating problems.
Mario Ferrao, a principal in Secaucus Commons LLC, has agreed to build and maintain the water retention system at his company’s expense.
Although the retention system won’t address flooding from Riverview Gardens, it will, said Town Administrator David Drumeler, help alleviate some of the flooding on Farm Road.
The water retention system, approved in April, will be built underneath the parking lot now being constructed.
Iraq War vet honored
In a special ceremony, also held Tuesday during the Town Council meeting, Iraq War veteran and Secaucus resident George Sikaffy was honored for his service.
Sikaffy, a member of the 108th Wing who recently returned home from a deployment in Baghdad, received a Proclamation of Gratitude from the town. Sikaffy’s unit participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Noble Eagle, Operation Allied Force, and various peacekeeping missions since Sept. 11, 2001.
Secaucus also signed a nonbinding agreement to support its service people returning home from active duty in the military.
About 50 percent of veterans returning from active duty report trouble finding jobs after their deployments end, according to Maureen McGuire, Hudson County chairperson of the Employee Support of the Garden Reserve, who attended Tuesday’s ceremony for Sikaffy.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at email@example.com.