Clarksville board serious about cleaning up historic area

Published: Jul. 7, 2010 at 3:59 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 1, 2015 at 3:44 AM EDT
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Rebecca Lockard
Rebecca Lockard
Harold Workman
Harold Workman
KFC Yum! Center
KFC Yum! Center

Clarksville, IN - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

CLARKSVILLE, IN (WAVE) – Construction of the new KFC Yum! Center arena is causing controversy across the river. The Clarksville, IN Town Board is taking issue with some of the dirt taken from the arena site and dumped in a southern Indiana landfill. That's because according to Indiana standards, that dirt is contaminated. During a July 6 meeting, the board took action to keep that from happening again. Members of the Clarksville Town Council voted to keep the Clarksville Historic District a number one priority.

Town Attorney Rebecca Lockard said the board has been looking over landfill sites and permits since 2008. She said the board has a plan to create parks and trails in the historic area. She said there is a plan to create trails in the area for the next ten years.

"That area has become really important and it's an eyesore. If you go driving to where some of Clarksville's richest heritage is to get to the river to see that scenic view, you have to drive down Emory Crossing and it's not the best entrance into Clarksville," Lockard said.

Lockard said there are five landfill sites in that historic area: Bierman Properties LLC, two Marshall sites owned by Keith Marshall, Marrs on Emery Crossing, and Kentuckiana Trucking Company.

Lockard said originally four of the sites applications for fill permits were being reviewed. Before Tuesday's board meeting, Lockard said Keith Marshall withdrew his two requests for fill permits. The board had to vote whether to reject permits for Marrs and Bierman Properties LLC. Before voting, two Clarksville citizens voiced their opinions.

"I order the planning and zoning board to reject the request for permits to build or expand a recycle center, a junkyard, a salvage yard or whatever you prefer to call it," one gentleman said.

"You hold the office of the towns' founding fathers," another concerned citizen told the board. "The choice between the two paths is yours."

The board chose to reject Marrs and Bierman Properties LLC permits.

The fifth site, Kentuckiana Trucking Company, was not discussed during the meeting. Lockard said the company does not have local permits for fill and dumping.

"We have sent Kentuckiana Trucking Company a letter saying, you don't have a fill permit. You don't have an application for one, but the town won't even consider your application until you are straight with IDEM (Indiana Department of Environmental Management)."

According to Amy Hartsock with IDEM, Kentuckiana Trucking Company is considered a clean fill site. Hartsock said they identified contaminants at the site. We're told those contaminants are in dirt that came from the Louisville's KFC Yum! Center construction site. The Kentucky State Fair Board, which oversees the arena, told us Kentuckiana Trucking Company was contracted to store the dirt at the Clarksville site.

Harold Workman, president of the Kentucky State Fair Board, said the dirt is not considered contaminated under Kentucky law, but is across the river. According to Workman, the dirt will be moved back to Kentucky and placed in a landfill soon. Lockard said until Kentuckiana Trucking Company complies with state regulations, the board would not consider an application for a fill permit for the company. Lockard said the contaminated dirt stored at the Kentuckiana Trucking Company did intensify the board's decision to clean up the historic area.

As of Tuesday, Lockard said the landfills are not allowed to fill. Lockard said the landfill sites could be cited up to $2,500 a day if they continue to allow people to dump or fill at their site.

Our calls to Kentuckiana Trucking Company for comment on this story were not returned before news time. It is unknown if the company plans to apply for a fill permit.

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