- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

UTICA, Mich. (AP) - Nearly 20,000 tons of contaminated soil will be removed from the site of a planned suburban Detroit development that includes a new $10 million minor league baseball stadium, officials said.

The $937,000 cleanup will involve excavating and disposing of polluted soil at the former landfill near downtown Utica, installing methane gas detection equipment along with a new soil cover, The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens reported (http://bit.ly/1I9bgBl ).

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled Tuesday for the project along the Clinton River. Mayor Jacqueline Noonan said work is expected to begin later this summer.

“Not only will we be removing a longtime eyesore and providing a new resource for the community, but we’ll also be improving the environment,” Noonan said.

General Sports and Entertainment LLC of Rochester is the developer and will be the operator of the new 2,500-seat stadium on one side of the river. Land on the other side of the river will be used for a parking lot as well as a retail and residential development.

Both properties were used as an unlicensed landfill that operated from the 1940s to the 1960s, according to documents filed with the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development.

According to an analysis of cleanup prospects, waste material that ranges from near the surface to 20 feet below grade includes a number of hazardous volatile organic compounds and metals including arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead, mercury, and potentially explosive levels of methane gas.

The property targeted for a parking lot was being developed by the Traverse Group as a brownstone residential project in the 2000s, but the development didn’t move forward due to the housing market crash, according to city officials and county documents.

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Information from: The Macomb Daily, http://www.macombdaily.com

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