City of Beatrice to Get Reimbursement, For Portion of Gas Plant Cleanup

BEATRICE – An environmental cleanup along the banks of the Big Blue River that cost the City of Beatrice about $1.5 million, may end up costing the city about half that amount.  Beatrice Mayor Stan Wirth said Thursday there’s been an effort to reimburse the city for part of its share of the cleanup.

:09                  “hadn’t planned on”

A company that was a former owner of the site near 1st and Market and an engineering firm, reportedly have agreed to reimburse the city for a sizeable part of the cleanup of a former coal gas plant.

The city has dealt with the site since its’ discovery in 2004, and cleanup was finished last year by a Texas company, under supervision of Kansas City engineering firm and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

:16                  “the end result”

The coal gas plant operated back in the early 1900s. 

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA previously said the site’s soil and groundwater was contaminated by cyanide, metals, petroleum hydrocarbons and gasoline additives, among other things.

The City share was 25 percent of the cleanup cost, with Centel Corporation paying the remaining 75 percent…. based on past ownership of the property.

On the Beatrice City Council agenda Monday night, is a proposed reimbursement to the city of $600,000 from Black Hills Energy, formerly known as Aquila….and $50,000 from Kirkham-Michael, an engineering firm.

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