It looks like it will cost a little less than half a million dollars to do the first part of the work to clean lead out of the ground at Sportsman’s Park in Naperville.
Park District Executive Director Ray McGury said $500,000 was budgeted for the first phase of the project, which will begin Sept. 3.
“We received a bid for just over $490,000 which we will send to the board, and we’re looking to begin the clean-up process during the first week of September and complete it this year,” McGury said. “Our goal is to receive a NFR or ‘No Further Remediation’ letter (from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency) for all contaminants associated with the shooting range.”
While today only steel shot is permitted on the shooting range of the city-owned park southwest of Aurora Avenue and West Street, for decades it was used by gun owners whose ammunition included lead, a known environmental hazard.
The original intention was to clean up the area inside Sportsman’s Park fenced-in property, but McGury said because the former centrally-located shooting stations had been moved back several years ago to a new position, he was “suspicious about the area outside the fence.”
“Based on my own experience with shooting ranges given my police background, I suspected there might be contaminants outside the fence area and test samples taken outside the fence confirmed my suspicions,” McGury said. “We don’t feel the public is really at risk, but we want to meet the IEPA standards and get this cleaned up once and for all instead of coming back to it later and asking the public for more money.”
The second phase or the clean-up is expected to begin next year. McGury said, following the bidding process which should begin this spring.