MADISON — A dispute is ongoing regarding the transport and dumping of construction debris from a trio of buildings demolished by the City of Madison, in conjunction with the Boone County maintenance department.
The buildings in question — located on the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Madison — required environmental clearance prior to demolition. That process took over a year to complete, including negotiations with the land owner who requested the debris for “fill” on the property.
According the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, an investigation is ongoing, but a decision has not been made regarding whether an environmental line has been crossed with the demolition debris relocation process.
“The WVDEP is still investigating this situation and is working with all parties involved,” said WVDEP Communications Director Terry Fletcher. ”We cannot comment at this time.”
The lot sits adjacent to the Fountain of Life Worship Center, where Senior Pastor Mick Frye lives, about 30 yards from the property in question — visible just feet from the intersection of U.S. 119 and Route 3 at Rock Creek. It was a Facebook post that the church made about the debris that got the ball rolling in terms of public awareness.
“All I will say about the situation is that, collectively, our church wanted the community to know that this was not our property and we did not do this,” he said.
The plot of land in question was purchased in a tax sale by 3m Management.
The church claims it had made arrangements to purchase the land from Boone County, but was told that it would have to be purchased via the tax sale (auction) process, where the church was outbid for the property.
According to sources close to the situation, the landowners have permitting allowing for “fill” on the property but what remains to be known is whether the DEP will clear the debris as safe to be used in this manner.
Madison Mayor Buddy Hudson says he is taking a pragmatic approach to the situation.
“The City of Madison is taking all of the proper steps with the guidance of the DEP in telling us what we need to do and we are waiting for them to tell us what the next step is,” Hudson said. “We are most certainly working with all parties involved to come to a solution.”
In one Facebook post and associated thread, a citizen expressed that some of the debris that was not transported to the property in question was dumped under the Benjamin Price Bridge.
City of Madison officials said this is not the case and that the brick debris in question came from the old city hall facility and was placed there to be crushed and aid in road repair on city property. The brick was placed there 10 days prior to the transport of the three Main Street buildings’ demolition debris in question.
CVN research found that if the City of Madison is required by the WVDEP to move the rubble from the site, there are scenarios that would allow REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan) to contribute to the cost of the tipping fee associated with the relocation.
The CVN attempted to reach the landowner and left a message but it was not immediately returned.