FREEHOLD – The members of the Borough Council in Freehold Borough have announced a continued commitment to develop a vacant property once the site has been cleaned of contamination.
During a meeting on June 20, council members passed a resolution which commits the borough to develop the Colaner property, which is a half-acre parcel on Throckmorton Street between West Main and South streets. The property would be developed after contamination has been cleared from the parcel.
The resolution states that borough officials are seeking to apply for grant funds from the Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Fund Program (HDSRF) through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the purpose of funding remedial action to be performed on the Colaner property.
As previously reported, the Colaner property was once the location of a radiator repair shop and is now an empty lot.
Municipal officials have said an underground gasoline storage tank leaked and the contaminants that were eventually found in the soil were consistent with the leak. The contaminants included benzene, toluene and xylene.
According to the resolution, the hazardous materials were reported to have been discharged at the Colaner property between 1997 and 2011.
Brinkerhoff Environmental Services completed a preliminary assessment and site investigation of the property under aN HDSRF grant and identified multiple underground storage tanks at the site.
The borough received a $144,059 grant from the HDSRF to cover the cost of the investigation and action in 2016.
As previously reported, the DEP recommended to the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) that Freehold Borough be awarded a grant that will pay up to 75% of the remediation costs at the property, which was estimated to be at least $177,230 at the time.
The DEP recommended a grant of that amount because the property will be developed as a park and the state will pay for 75% of the remediation costs if a site will be used for recreation or conservation.
Following the DEP’s recommendation, borough officials deemed it in the best interest of the public to enter into a declaration of a deed restriction to ensure the property is rehabilitated and reused.
Brinkerhoff Environmental Services was authorized by the council to perform a remedial investigation of the Colaner property the following year.
In 2018, the Borough Council conveyed declaration of a deed restriction to the EDA for the Colaner property. Under the deed restriction, Freehold Borough officials agreed to prevent any disturbance or development of the property other than what was set forth in a remedial plan approved by the DEP.