Contaminants found in multiple test sites on Wolverine property by BETH ALTENA About a hundred residents, including city officials and Wolverine Worldwide representatives, attended a public meeting held jointly by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Tuesday, April 24 at the Rockford Freshman Center. A presentation by a team of four representatives of the environmental agencies detailed the background of their investigation, where the testing stands to date, what possible future outcomes of the process may be, and answered questions well after the 9 p.m. expected close of the meeting. Comments from the public regarding the situation were about evenly mixed among those supporting Wolverine in their actions in removing the former tannery and those who appeared skeptical of the company’s actions or worried about contamination. Dave Novak, community involvement coordinator of the Superfund Division of the EPA, began the evening’s presentation, introducing the other representatives. “We are looking for conclusions based on good science, not speculation,” he stated. “We have a great deal of information in a relatively short period of time. We are letting good science lead us on our journey.” He then gave the floor to Naria Nunez of the EPA. Nunez said the EPA was contacted by a citizens’ petition June 21, 2011 describing concerns over releases during the demolition of the former tannery at 123 N. Main Street, Rockford. She said the petition indicated the demolition was of community concern and included photographs of discolored water running off the property and questions about the past use of chromium at the property. The EPA decided to investigate the site, and began testing in October of last year. Nunez said preliminary testing results found some contamination with potential of offsite contact. The investigation is still underway and is in the preliminary stages. At any time the EPA could decide no further response is necessary; could call for removal of contaminates or could refer the investigation to another government program. The EPA could also continue to investigate and at the end of the process could rank the site based on a system called a Hazardous Ranking System. This is an evaluation of the property based on evaluations of groundwater, surface water, air, ground, or […]
Rockford Planning Commission
The Rockford Planning Commission will be holding a public open house on Thursday, March 17, between the hours of 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the Rockford City Hall. The purpose of the open house will be to review and discuss proposed amendments to the City’s Land Use Master Plan for an identified subarea. The subarea includes that part of the City from the Wolverine World Wide tannery property east to Northland Drive. The plan update will focus on proposed future land uses for this subarea including public and private development. Once approved, the Master Plan update will become part of the City’s comprehensive Master Plan and will serve as a guide for the Planning Commission and City Council when making development decisions. This will be a true open house style meeting where residents and interested parties can come and go as they wish and discuss the proposed amendments with Planning Commissioners, City staff and consultants. City Manager Michael Young and consultants from LSL Planning will be making initial presentations at the beginning of the open house at 6 p.m., and then repeated at 7 p.m. A copy of the draft plan amendment will be available on the City’s website prior to the open house. For further information or questions regarding this meeting, please contact City Manager Michael Young at (616) 866-1537 or at email@example.com.
The Rockford Planning Commission is seeking nominations for the annual Property of Distinction Awards. These awards are intended to recognize exterior building restorations, renovations and/or landscaping enhancements which make a significant contribution toward improving the appearance of the City of Rockford. Nominations will be taken throughout the year, and may be mailed to the Rockford Planning Commission, PO Box 561, Rockford, MI 49341, with a brief description of the changes completed that make the building’s appearance worthy of the award. For this first year of the Property Improvement Awards, nominations can be made for improvements made within the last 10 years. Residential, commercial, public/nonprofit and industrial facilities will all be considered. Property owners should acknowledge their willingness to participate. Awards may be given in all categories or only in one or two, dependent upon the nominations received. A “before” and “after” photograph is helpful, but not required. The review panel will consist of a member from the Rockford City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, the Planning Commission, one City staff member and one City resident at large that will be appointed by the review panel. Award winners are presented with a weather-proof plaque for mounting on the improved building at a City Council meeting. • • •