A criminal investigation into illegal dumping on West Carrollton land near the Great Miami River has expanded, according to the city.
Officials said another 30-day extension will be approved as crews need more time for “evidence recovery” of illegal materials initially discovered in February at the Hydraulic Road site West Carrollton is redeveloping for recreational use, possibly a $12 million multipurpose regional sports complex.
The “scope of our investigation has broadened” regarding the illegal, non-hazardous dumping, said Carl Enterman, West Carrollton’s chief code enforcement officer.
Police Chief Doug Woodard said a meeting is set this week on the investigation.
“At that point we’ll have a better understanding of where we stand and where everything is going and the progress that’s been made so far,” Woodard said.
“There’s some preliminary information that we need to discuss and we’ll have a better idea of the direction (where) everything is heading after we get the personnel involved in the investigation together,” he added.
West Carrollton officials declined to comment further on the investigation.
The property has been shut down since February and the city has spent $45,000 to increase surveillance, allowing round the clock monitoring.
The nearly 30-acre site has been targeted as a potential site for a proposed complex to hold basketball, lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and winter guard competitions.
West Carrollton has worked to redevelop the site since the former Appvion waste water treatment facility land was acquired about two years ago. Electric conduits, wood and “numerous mattresses” were uncovered in early February after hours of digging on a southern portion of the land, city officials have said.
The Ohio Revised Code states only “clean hard fill” — asphalt, concrete, stone, brick, tile or block — can be dumped and buried at the site, said Thomas Hut, supervisor of the bureau of special services for Public Health-Dayton & Montgomery County.
Hut said no hazardous materials have been uncovered during the investigation.
“It has been the construction and demolition debris – the plastic, the electrical conduit,” he said. “Those sort of materials considered (construction and demolition) and then whatever solid waste that was typically in the form of mattresses and the larger bulk items.”
Removal of materials has been slowed by schedule of West Carrollton’s contractor, Ohio Operating Engineers, Enterman said. However, Enterman said he is optimistic the cleanup can be done in a few more weeks.
The company has agreed to perform the work for $6,600 after the city projected costs ranging from $350,000 to $700,000.