The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

October 18, 2012

Contractor hired for Joplin parks soil cleanup

The costs for cleaning up lead-contaminated soil in Joplin parks will range from about $400,000 to $1.5 million, depending on the amount of soil that has to be removed.

The Joplin City Council this week authorized a contract with Crossland Heavy Contractors Inc. for the work. Costs will be paid from a $2.4 million grant the Environmental Protection Agency announced last week to help the city with lead cleanup.

Parr Hill and Garvin parks were closed in June as a result of the detection of heavy metals in the soil left by 2011 tornado damage. The other two city parks in the tornado-damage zone, Cunningham and Mohaska, were tested, and no contamination was found.

City officials believe the contamination came from soil or chat that was exposed when trees were uprooted and houses were destroyed. Mining was done in the central and western parts of the city, and chat from the mines is believed to have been used in building foundations for houses in various parts of town.

The city has posted signs at the parks to notify people about the closures. Parr Hill Park is at 15th Street and Kansas Avenue. Garvin Park is at 28th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Because of Joplin’s mining history, the city had an ordinance that required testing of soil at properties where children might be present. After the tornado, the ordinance was expanded to include properties in the tornado zone.

It is not known exactly how much soil will have to be removed and replaced. The city took bids on a base amount of removing 6 inches of soil and replacing it with 6 inches of clean soil, seeding grass and repaving any parking areas.

Six contractors bid on the work. The base bids for Parr Hill Park ranged from the wining bid of $353,189 to a high of $581,200. Bids on Garvin Park ranged from $40,094 to $63,873.

Part of the EPA money is being used to help eligible residents replace contaminated soil in yards.

The city has 55 applicants approved for assistance, with 23 more in the application steps.

Free soil tests are available from the Jasper County Health Department. Those may be requested by calling 417-358-0475 or 877-879-9131.

Applications for the cleanup program are available in the city’s building department on the fourth floor of City Hall, 602 S. Main St. The program coordinator, Leslie Heitkamp, can be reached at 624-0820, ext. 544.



Notification

OFFICIALS ARE UNCERTAIN how long the parks will be closed. The city will notify residents when they are ready to reopen.

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May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

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