Andrews Town Council seeking answers from firm taking soil samples

The Andrews Town Council sought answers as to why Stantec Inc. was taking soil samples around the former United Technologies Automotive plant in town at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.

Stantec is a consulting company performing environmental service work on behalf of United Technologies. Tom Cole, a Stantec employee, attended the meeting and updated council on the company’s activities in town. Beyond taking samples at the former United Technologies Automotive plant site, Cole explained that Stantec would be doing sampling next to California Street, just east of Colorado Street. Afterwards, he said, the company would be taking a sample from underneath California Street.

When council inquired what precipitated the sampling, Cole responded that a geoprobe investigation had been conducted in January and that contaminated soil was discovered. The soil, he noted, contained trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent once used at the automotive plant. TCE has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Cole estimated that the sampling work would take two to three weeks. He noted that after the California Street sample was taken, the street would be repaired.

Council members expressed dissatisfaction with Stantec’s level of communication with them. Clerk-Treasurer Laura Dillon remarked that the company had gotten into a habit of communicating with her, rather than the board.

“I just don’t feel like it’s my responsibility to oversee all this excavation and stuff going on when there’s a board here that really makes policy,” she said.

Cole responded that he would pass along that criticism to his superiors and see to it that Stantec’s communication with the town was conducted through the council going forward.

In other business:
Utility Superintendent Colin Bullock stated that it was his goal to have the town’s new wastewater treatment plant operational by Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Town Marshal Austin Bullock warned residents that they need to be keeping their dogs secured on their properties. The police department, he said, had been spending far too much time lately tracking down loose dogs in town.

Residents who do not keep their dogs secure, he said, would be issued a $50 citation that will increase for subsequent offenses.
Council established that the town’s trick or treating hours would be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Halloween.