Thursday, October 18, 2018
City of Mahtomedi Avoids Discussion of Contamination With Sudden Cancellation of October Meeting
reposted with permission from Grant Reporter article
Written by Shannon Bryant
MAHTOMEDI, MN - Since the New Wildwood Elementary School was built in 2012, Mahtomedi Residents Tim and Sheila Dewuske have experienced multiple illicit discharges containing sewage and contamination into Lost Lake, a lake in Mahtomedi their home is located on. They had their family dog pass away from tumors, and had some tests of the remains done at the University of Michigan that found toxin mercury at high levels in their dog. The Dewuske's have also found multiple red foxes dead around Lost Lake. The Dewuske's have sent multiple inquiries to Mahtomedi City Officials and the cities paid engineering consultants looking for answers, but those answers have not been provided. They have been met on numerous occasions with incomplete answers and are often passed to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES).
After numerous requests by The Dewuske's to add this item for discussion to the October 2nd City Council Meeting Agenda, the City of Mahtomedi suddenly announced they were cancelling the October 2nd City Council Meeting. According to the City of Mahtomedi Website, it states "Due to Lack of Agenda Items The October 2, 2018 City Council Meeting is Cancelled." Mahtomedi City Administrator, Scott Neilson, invited to The Dewuske's to speak on October 16th to speak under the Stormwater Pollution Protection Plan (SWPP) Agenda item, where they would only be allowed to make censored comments for three minutes. The City of Mahtomedi is refusing to add this item as a separate agenda topic.
In a Letter to The Dewuske's from Meghan Litsey, Environmental Scientist, with WSB & Associates, Inc. (a paid consultant working for the City of Mahtomedi), dated May 16, 2018, the question was posed by The Dewuske's "Where does stormwater from the Mahtomedi School go once it leaves the school's property? Where does it flow from Grant into Mahtomedi and where does it end up in Mahtomedi?" The response from Litsey was "Stormwater ultimately discharges to White Bear Lake. It travels through storm sewer to the wetland southeast of where Old Wildwood Rd/TH 244 meet, to Lost Lake, and eventually to White Bear Lake. The only stormwater from Grant that comes into Mahtomedi is from the high school, and a small portion of runoff from Stillwater Road and Ideal Ave. It connects into the high school where some of it is treated in the underground basin (beneath the high school parking lot), and then follows the above described route to White Bear Lake." Litsy and the City of Mahtomedi were also not aware of any groundwater well testing that has been performed in the City of Mahtomedi.
The December 10, 2015 Minutes of Regular Meeting for The Board of Education of Mahtomedi Public Schools described the $8,175,000 local property taxpayer funded abatement bonds project as "Extensive improvements and reconstruction of parking lots, sidewalks and pathways, including exterior lighting projects at Mahtomedi High School and Middle School, O.H. Anderson Elementary and the District Education Center to provide safe and reliable access to buildings will take place over the next two years." There are no documents or reference to the installation of a parking lot infiltration system in any Mahtomedi Public Schools published documents. There were several Mahtomedi Public Schools Facilities Committee Meetings held between 2016 and 2017 regarding the Phase II Abatement Bonds Construction Projects, but no public meeting notes or minutes have been published by Mahtomedi Public Schools. According to Mahtomedi Public Schools General Contractor, Petersen Companies, their company website reveals they removed 45,000 cubic yards of existing soil and replaced it with 35,000 tons of sand for parking lot soil correction. The construction also included 60 concrete structures including 8400 feet of storm drainage piping and two underground stormwater chamber systems. There are currently 50,000 cubic yards of a covered landfill and contaminated lands that sit right next to Wildwood Elementary, the former Bellaire Sanitation Landfill. 2017 Stormwater Tests have revealed the following toxic chemicals around the Wildwood Elementary property: 1,2-Dichloroethane-d4 (S) %. 4-Bromofluorobenzene (S) %. Toluene-d8 (S), Allyl chloride, Benzene, Bromobenzene, Bromochloromethane, Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Bromomethane, Carbon tetrachloride, Chlorobenzene, Chloroethane, Chloroform, Chloromethane, cis-1,2-Dichloroethene, cis-1,3-Dichloropropene, Dibromochloromethane, Dibromomethane, Dichlorodifluoromethane, Dichlorofluoromethane, Diethyl ether (Ethyl ether), Ethylbenzene, Hexachloro-1,3-butadiene, Isopropylbenzene (Cumene) Methyl-tert-butyl ether, Methylene Chloride, n-Butylbenzene, n-Propylbenzene,Naphthalene, p-Isopropyltoluene, sec-Butylbenzene, Styrene, tert-Butylbenzene, Tetrachloroethene, Tetrahydrofuran, Toluene, trans-1,2-Dichloroethene, trans-1,3-Dichloropropene, Trichloroethene, Trichlorofluoromethane, Vinyl chloride, Xylene. There are many outstanding questions that exist regarding the environmental impact on the Mahtomedi Eco-System, Community and Students. The Dewuske's will continue to seek answers they are rightfully owed regarding the environmental protection of their land and home, and also the Mahtomedi Community.