2010-10-13 / Front Page

SOC cleanup is closer

By Deborah Bennett Millen News Editor

The City of Millen is one step closer to beginning work on cleaning up the old SOC station property on Withrope Avenue.

A legal advertisement in this week’s edition of The Millen News requests “statements of qualification” from firms interested in the project, which is funded by a $200,000 Environment Protection Agency Brownfield grant awarded the city. The city’s share of the cost, which may be labor, materials and services, is 20 percent or $40,000.

The SOC station was previously operated as a gas station and automobile repair shop. The major environmental concerns at the site are from lead and petroleum leaks from three underground storage tanks into the soil. The building also contains asbestos and lead paint. However, it has been confirmed that the storage tanks are now empty with no continuing releases or threats of release.

The City assumed ownership of the property from the estate of the previous owner in February 2009 and entered the property into the Georgia Brownfield program. Two site assessments have been performed and a corrective action plan completed.

The master plan for renovation of the site includes public outdoor seating and greenspace landscaping with trees, sidewalks, benches and a bicycle rack. The city is also considering utilizing part of the future building for nonprofit uses including a visitor’s center or office space. The site may also be developed to include a restaurant for the convenience of those attending court at the Jenkins County Courthouse.

The project is expected to add $100,000-$130,000 to the city’s tax base revenues over the next 10 years and create 12-14 permanent jobs.

Proposals from qualifying firms are due 2 p.m. Nov. 15.

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