DATE: June 14, 2023
FROM: Andy Selle P.E., City Engineer/Director of Public Works
RE: Lorman property remediation information
The City of Fort Atkinson purchased the former Loeb-Lorman properties located at 115 Lorman St., 600 Oak St. and 205 Hake St. in 2021 using a Federal CDBG Grant to eliminate blight within communities. The City negotiated a unique agreement with the property owner to remove the buildings, investigate potential contamination on the site and remediate potential contaminants.
The property has a long history as a scrap yard from the 1940s through 2015. The City and former owner knew the potential for hazardous materials associated with this type of work and the possibility for it to be present within the soil.
A site investigation into possible soil contaminants commenced in the spring of 2021. During the investigation, the Lorman St. property was found to have PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyl) in the soil. The soil containing high concentrations of PCBs was removed from the site and has been replaced with clean soil. PCBs still remain on the site in various concentrations and signs will remain in place indicating the contamination remains until the site is better stabilized.
The Oak Street investigation found lead, likely brought to the site with contaminated fill many decades ago. During the remediation process, 60-70% of the suspected mass of lead was removed and replaced with clean fill. Lead still exists on the Oak Street parcel.
The Hake Street property was found to have no contaminants in the soil, but the ground water was contaminated with TCE, a chlorinated volatile organic compound. The substance originates from the former Thomas Industries factory to the west and is migrating generally southeasterly in ground water.
Demolition of all structures was completed in November and December of 2022 using grant funds. The City is working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to continue to ensure the site does not present a hazard to health and to stage the site(s) for redevelopment, which cannot commence per the terms of the grant until January 2028.
“This former industrial area served an important role in the business culture of Fort Atkinson and will transition to a new role and land use within our City,” said Andy Selle, Director of Public Works. “It will take a few years to get there, but our City’s leaders play the long game and see the future potential and the return on the investment in this project.”
For additional information contact Director of Public Works/City Engineer Andy Selle at 920-397-9901. For detailed documentation go to dnr.wisconsin.gov
Information on the Lorman St. site can be found here. Information on the Oak St. site can be found here.
Lorman site after removals.
Hake St. site after removals.
Oak St. site after removals.