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MURRAY WINS GRANT TO HELP MAKE PLANS FOR OLD SMELTER SITE

SHARE MURRAY WINS GRANT TO HELP MAKE PLANS FOR OLD SMELTER SITE

The federal Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday said it will grant the city up to $200,000 to help it with planning costs to redevelop the old Murray smelter site.

Also, Dennis Hamblin, Murray community development director, said the city will discuss its tentative plans for the area surrounding the old lead smelter at a public hearing during the regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting beginning at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at City Hall.Hamblin said final plans for the smelter depend on whatever remediation is required to bring the 141-acre site up to state and federal environmental quality standards. Study results have revealed lead pollutants in the soil and shallow ground water in various places around the site.

State, federal and city officials have not yet reached a consensus on what cleanup will be needed to prepare the site for redevelopment.

Thus far, the city has discussed constructing a north-south traffic corridor through the site to relieve the congestion on State Street and perhaps to serve as an alternative route during upcoming I-15 reconstruction. Planners have long discussed locating a police training center at the site.

Other ideas being bandied about are the creation of a small interpretive center near the smelter smokestacks that would focus on the smelter and its historical significance to Murray. If cleanup is not too difficult or expensive, there is a possibility of general retail, office space and light industrial development occurring at the site.

The Utah Transit Authority has plans to locate a station in the southwest corner of the area, and city planners are batting around the possibility of building a four- or five-acre park along the south bank of Cottonwood Creek from about State to Vine streets.

The EPA grant is part of the Clinton administration's Brown-fields Initiative to help cities clean up and redevelop abandoned property that have some contamination from previous industrial use but that pose no serious public health risk. More than 60 such projects are under way nationally.