SKFR site still on contaminated list

More than three years later, chief says district still working to meet DOE standard.

More than three years after a small plot of land near South Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s headquarters was declared contaminated by the state Department of Ecology, Chief Wayne Senter said the process of getting off the “bad list” is nearly complete.

“We’re almost at the goal post we’ve been running to for about 3.5 years — or more,” Senter explained at the last meeting of the SKFR board of commissioners meeting Thursday.

The site at 1974 Fircrest Drive was added to the DOE’s list of “suspected” contaminated sites in 1998 when a pair of abandoned fuel tanks was dug up, but was not inspected by the Kitsap County Health District and moved to the “confirmed” list until 2005.

At that time, Grant Holdcroft, a county environmental specialist, said the property only received a negative score in one category — human health impacts from ground water — but it was a high enough amount for the site to be ranked a 2 out of 5, with the worst being 1.

Since the site was deemed contaminated, officials from SKFR and the former owners, Karcher Creek Sewer District (now known as West Sound Utility), have discussed how to proceed, and in 2006 the districts decided to hire someone to just remove the soil and “get us off the contaminated list once and for all.”

In January of 2007, SKFR accepted a bid for $75,350 by Engineering Remediation RG to remove the dirt, after agreeing to postpone the work at the request of the sewer district, which must pay the clean-up costs.

Senter said now that the clean-up is done, SKFR just recently reached a “restricted covenance” agreement with Kitsap County and will now submit a request to the DOE to have the site removed from its contaminated list.

Also addressed at the meeting July 24:

• Meetings between representatives of SKFR, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue and the City of Bremerton’s Fire Department to discuss a possible merger are being conducted with “renewed excitement and vigor” lately, Senter reported, explaining that recent meetings have been held rather than canceled, and everything is “going well.”

Previously, Senter had expressed frustration that deadlines in the Regional Fire Authority process were in danger of not being met as meeting cancellations were becoming more frequent.

• At the next SKFR board of commissioners meeting Aug. 14, Senter said he expected to submit a plan for his district’s next EMS Levy, which may include a proposal to build a fire station in Manchester.

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