Soil for Karg Bros. site passes tests

JOHNSTOWN – Samples of soil that will be used for remediating the former Karg Bros. tannery site passed state environmental tests, City Engineer Chandra Cotter told the Common Council during its meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is working with the city to totally clean up remaining pollutants and remediate the former tannery site by spring. The city is receiving help from the Fulton County Department of Solid Waste, which will bring 17,000 cubic yards of clean dirt fill for the site, so it can eventually be redeveloped.

In her monthly report to the council, Cotter said the fill that will be used “passed” environmental standards. She said she would be going on a conference call with DEC and the city’s consultant on the project this week.

“We have to figure out the next steps,” Cotter stated.

Karg Bros. tannery, encompassing a widespread area east of Crescendoe Road, East Canal Street and East Fulton Street, was shut down in the mid-1990s, and the buildings were razed about 2000.

Cotter previously indicated a report by consultant Arcadis-US of Clifton Park, which was working with DEC on cleanup, is done. In summary, she said DEC indicated the state would ideally like to complete the Karg site work and be able to issue a “No Further Action Record of Decision” report to the city by March.

The goal is to eventually make the site shovel-ready for redevelopment. The city still has $78,000 remaining in an existing Environmental Restoration Program grant.

Elsewhere in Cotter’s report:

She said 2013 street paving is due to start next week in the city. “There’s still plenty of time,” Cotter assured the council.

Nine streets still are due to be paved: Walnut Avenue; Mason Street (North Perry to North Market streets); Hoosac Street; West Madison Avenue (South Melcher to Chestnut streets); Fon Clair Street (Persse Avenue to Route 30A); South Perry Street Extension; Tryon Place/Stanton Terrace; West Madison Avenue Extension; and Genesee Street.

The Department of Public Works is researching sanitary storm and sewer issues in the city, she said.

The city is working with the state Department of Transportation and city police to install new “No Parking” signs in parts of the Johnstown Industrial Park, she said. Part of the new effort is to curb trucks from stopping illegally as they enter or exit the park to get to the Walmart Regional Distribution Facility.

“Walmart’s on-board with the signs,” Cotter said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at