News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 14, 2012

Question holds up city contract

City waiting to award work on brownfield site

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Everyone was in place Tuesday morning for the Terre Haute Board of Sanitary Commissioners to award an approximately $7 million contract to clean up a major city brownfield site.

But the contract was not awarded as expected.

Terry Modesitt, attorney for the five-person Sanitary Board, said there was some question concerning required public advertising seeking bids for the project. Until those questions are sorted out, it was not clear how or when the board would proceed, he said.

The contract will pay around $7 million for a contractor to remove 80,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site at Hulman and 13th streets and replace it with clean soil. The contaminated soil will be taken to a landfill, where disposal fees will account for more than half of the project’s cost, said Chuck Ennis, city engineer.

There were five or six responses to the request for bids, Modesitt said, adding he expected to work most of the day Tuesday to find out what happened and what can be done to resolve any potential problems.

He could not be reached late Tuesday afternoon.

Funding for the Coke and Carbon site cleanup is coming from an approximately $150 million bond issue to pay for essentially replacing and upgrading the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Indiana 63.

By including the $7 million brownfield cleanup in the bond issue, the city receives a 0.5 percent discount on its interest rate through the Indiana Finance Authority, city officials have said.

The soil at the former Coke and Carbon site  is contaminated with several contaminants that are byproducts of coke, produced from coal at the site from 1926 to 1988.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or