The City of Saline is urging the Environmental Protection Agency swiftly approve cleanup plans for part of the Johnson Control Inc. property on South Monroe Street. City Council voted 7-0 to pass a resolution urging EPA action and also urging Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Gary Peters and Rep. Tim Walberg to urge the EPA to bring the matter to a close.
In particular, the city is seeking to split off two parcels from the old Hoover factory property – at least in terms of EPA cleanup. The city is asking the EPA for closure at 237 S. Monroe St. (the east parking lot, across the street from the old factory property) and 290 S. Monroe St., the undeveloped parcel south of the contaminated property.
Mayor Brian Marl said it was time for city council to show leadership on the issue. Marl said that due to the environmental contamination, he doesn’t envision the main portion of the property (the fenced-off piece at 232 S. Monroe St.) will ever be developed -- at least not residentially. But he’d like it cleaned up.
“That fenced off area that looks like a war zone, I’d be thrilled if we could even return that to green space,” Marl said. At the April 20 council meeting, Marl said Johnson Controls is proceeding with a plan to clean up the main site.
The city may have higher hopes for the other parcels, though Marl wouldn’t reveal details. According to the resolution put forth by council, contaminants have never been found at 237 and 290 S. Monroe St.
Councillor Dean Girbach helped Marl draft the resolution. He said Johnson Controls is working to clean up the site.
“One of my big concerns is to get this cleaned up. JCI has tried to address the issues and is trying to work with our government, which is sometimes slow as molasses. So whatever we can do to encourage and support this cleanup is what we need to do,” Girbach said.
The property was purchased in 2006 by Saline River Properties for a condo development. During site work, a cement slab was disturbed, causing a migration of contaminants. That spurred a lawsuit between the developer and Johnson Controls. Johnson Control won the suit and took control of the property, and notified the city it planned to create green space.