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As published on October 19, 2006 on

Progress Made in Continental Steel Planning

"For many Kokomo residents, it's as if the Continental Steel site has undergone another long dormant period, with little progress visible from the city roadways since the plant's buildings came down at the start of the decade. But city, state and federal officials have been quietly planning for the final environmental remediation, and possibly as early as next week, the public should finally be able to see work in progress at the site.

Contractors with Indianapolis-based Keramida Inc. will begin clearing vegetation off the 80-acre main plant site, where city officials hope to begin work next year on a new city park. City engineer Carey Stranahan said that in addition to environmental remediation work on the site, Keramida will also conduct a topographical survey of the site. That survey will help the city finalize plans for roads and parking lots throughout the as-yet-unnamed park.

Keramida, which will install an 18-inch soil cap on the main plant site, will work with the city on the final grading, Indiana Department of Environmental Management project manager Pat Likins said. 'They'll leave it graded so [the city] can pick up from there, so they don't have to dig up areas that have already been covered,' Likins said.

Keramida is expected to complete the main plant site soil cover and grading work by next summer, Likins said. IDEM will manage and pay for the work Keramida's performing at the main plant site, and U.S. Rep. Chris Chocola, R-IN, prevailed on Congress to earmark $1 million to help the city get started on its reuse plans for Continental.

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