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Contamination work from former Ogilvie plant site could start soon

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The city soon may be prepared to remove contamination from the Ogilvie plant site off North Pleasant Street.

On Tuesday night, the Watertown City Council will consider bonding for a Pittsford engineering firm to complete an investigation of the contamination at the site.

The firm, Lu Engineering, will be paid $120,315. A contractor then will be hired to remove the contamination this spring.

The city will use a $200,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to clean up the site of soil contamination, cement foundation slabs and other debris from the old food plant. The city has set aside $400,000 in its capital projects budget to complete the job.

Part of the work will include determining whether any contamination is under the slabs and how to remove it, said Kenneth A. Mix, the city’s planning and community development coordinator.

Once the contamination is removed, the city-owned property would be shovel-ready, Mr. Mix said.

Two years ago, the city was working with Neighbors of Watertown to redevelop the site for a subdivision with about 18 houses, but more construction debris was found at the five-acre site, making the construction too costly.

Mr. Mix intends to start talking soon with Neighbors again about whether the site could contain in-fill housing with single-family homes.

For years, residents of the neighborhood have called the site an eyesore. They generally have supported turning it into a residential property.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the third-floor council chambers at City Hall, 245 Washington St.

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