City awaits results of further soil testing

Nearly five years ago, the former Chillicothe Correctional Center property was given to the city of Chillicothe from the State of Missouri. Shortly after, the City Council decided to accept a proposal from Foutch Brothers to turn the facility into an apartment complex.
Since the initial proposal, the State of Missouri and the Environmental Protection Agency have been working to get the site cleaned up. According to City Administrator Ike Holland, the buildings on the property have been cleaned, and the current phase of the project includes testing and monitoring the soil contamination levels.
“There are two underground fuel tanks over there that were used for heating and cooling of the facility,” Holland said. "Those have been monitored and the ground, soil and water flow, the aquifer and all of that has been tested. Now the EPA is done, but that did not satisfy the state, so now the state has requested further testing which has now started."
The EPA testing was paid for by a grant totaling $250,000. Since the EPA has finished its testing, the city of Chillicothe will have to pay about $1,000 for further testing of the grounds. Holland said that where the project goes from here is dependent upon the results of the testing.
“The results could say it’s okay to proceed, or they could say we have to continue to monitor," Holland said. "Once (the State) is satisfied that they've tested everything properly they will give me courses of action. It could be nothing, no further action needed. It could be to remove the dirt and replace it. It could be to remove the tanks and the dirt and replace it."
In addition to further testing, the facility is undergoing weatherproofing. Copeland Development and Construction is working on the nearly $5,000 project, currently building window covers which will be installed next week. The project will be completed within the next two to three weeks.
Once the test results have been completed, and if they meet the state's standards, then Foutch Brothers can start the project. The company will still have to appear before the Council, and approval is required before the project may begin.
The current vision for the project, which is to be completed in phases, is that the current buildings will become apartments and the outlying land on the property will be developed into single-family homes.