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Feedback sought on DHEC cleanup deals involving Hotel Aiken, Warneke Cleaners – Yahoo News

Nov. 22—The state health department is seeking public input on cleanup agreements it could ink with the Aiken Municipal Development Commission, a government panel hoping to radically redevelop a slice of downtown.
Public notices published Sunday show voluntary cleanup contracts are in the works for four properties: Hotel Aiken, the Holley House motel, Warneke Cleaners and Newberry Hall.
The development commission in early November approved a $9.5 million purchase of seven parcels of land, including the hotel, motel, dry cleaners and catering-and-event space. Officials envision a boutique hotel, conference center, apartments and a parking garage in the area, about 2 acres stretching from Laurens Street to Newberry Street.
The exact layout and look of the projects have not yet been decided. Neither demolition nor construction will begin anytime soon.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control uses voluntary cleanup contracts to encourage the improvement of brownfields or potentially polluted land. If the contracts are approved, the Aiken Municipal Development Commission would not be liable for pre-existing contamination. The commission, though, would have to test groundwater and soil; if something serious is found, the commission would be required to mitigate and remediate the issue.
"AMDC did not create the pollution," one public notice reads, "but will control it to keep the property safe for reuse."
Comments to the state health department are due by Dec. 21. They can be sent to DHEC Project Manager Jerry Stamps via email, [email protected], or provided via phone, 803-898-0927.
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