Around the Town with Mayor Steve: Oak Creek Accepts Ownership of Lakefront PropertyShare This +
Our lakefront plans are beginning to take shape. This week the City of Oak Creek took a big step in reclaiming our lakefront. Here's the press release we issued this week announcing the transfer of ownership of the Epic and DuPont properties.
On Friday December 5, 2014 the City of Oak Creek took a major step forward in the redevelopment of its lakefront (known as Lake Vista) as it accepted ownership of 98 acres of land along Lake Michigan’s shoreline from E. I. Du Pont de Nemours and EPEC Polymers, Inc. The transfer of these properties, at no cost to the City, is the culmination of a 6 year collaborative process that involved the City, Du Pont , EPEC, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency. This transfer took place after the Wisconsin DNR issued its Certificate of Completion under the Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) program for both properties.
The Du Pont property was the former home of a chemical plant in the 1920's and 1930's. The waste from the chemical plant was disposed of on a portion of the EPEC property. Arsenic and other contaminants on the EPEC property were removed to a depth of 17 feet in 2003 under the supervision and control of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Under the terms of the EPA and DNR agreements Du Pont and EPEC spent approximately $18 million to conduct the environmental investigation and to implement the environmental remediation plan, which included a 2-foot clay cap over the majority of the site. The soil for this cap was obtained from excavation of soils during the reconstruction of the Mitchell Interchange. The ability to obtain that clean soil at a minimal cost to the City was a collaborative effort among the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, DNR, City of Oak Creek, Du Pont, EPEC and its contractors.
Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi praised the efforts of all involved noting “Without the tireless efforts of the property owners, the Wisconsin DNR, Environmental Protection Agency and City staff these properties would have remained as a barrier between the citizens of our community and the lakefront, denying the community access to this wonderful recreational resource.” He went on to remark that, “2015 marks Oak Creek’s 60th year as a City, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this moment in our history than by reclaiming the City’s lakefront and making these lands accessible to the public for the very first time.”
The City has committed to investing 14 million dollars for new infrastructure to serve this area, known as Lake Vista. The City’s investment consists of new roadway connections from STH 100 and STH 32 as well as a new public park area that includes a lakefront drive, bike paths, trails and other recreational amenities. The details of those plans are currently being finalized as part of an ongoing public planning effort.
Nearly 55 acres of the site remain available for private sector redevelopment. Beginning early in 2015 the City will be seeking private sector partners to play a role in the development of these and adjacent properties.