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Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 5, 2003

A called meeting of the Selma City Council began with an executive session Monday morning.

The meeting was called to discuss recommendations from CH2M Hill Engineering Firm concerning contamination of soil at the All-Lock Company, Inc. facility located on Water Avenue.

According to Samuel W. Shannon, senior hydrogeologist with CH2M Hill, his company has determined where some solvents, mainly tricholoroethylene, a degreasing compound, have seeped into the ground. Shannon said the area of contamination was limited to an area of only 400 feet.

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Shannon said All-Lock formerly manufactured car locks. The company used metal plates in the creation process and solvents were used to keep the plates clean.

One part-time Selmian, though, said she was concerned about the contamination.

Residents near the facility received notification of Monday’s meeting by letter; Massey said she received hers the middle of last week.

And that letter, Massey said, was the first time she had heard about any problems with contamination.

The State of Alabama has known about the contamination since the 1980’s when All-Lock discovered the problem after testing ground water, Shannon said. The City of Selma has owned the facility since Dec. 14, 1998.

Shannon said his company’s next step would be a health assessment of chemicals needing removal. &uot;It may be that the concentration is so low that it won’t impact anyone,&uot; Shannon said.

Shannon added that it would take two to three months to complete the assessment.

Selma City Attorney Jimmy Nunn said that when the city received the facility, it was told about the contamination. Tom Huett, with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management ground water section, agreed.

Before bringing the subject of more testing to a vote, the council entered an executive session for about an hour. After Shannon, Friday and Nunn fielded questions from those present, Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. said he wanted the council to appropriate $50,000 for CH2M Hill’s tests.

The council then voted 5 – 0 in favor of appropriating the funds with Councilwoman Jean Martin recusing herself. Council members James Durry, Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Sam Randolph weren’t present for the vote.

The funds will be taken from the city’s sinking fund.