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Hansville toxins cleanup on track for September

HANSVILLE — Excavators and dump trucks will clog downtown Hansville for about three months this fall and that's too long for Lynn Christopherson.

The Hansville resident plans to shutter her 3-year-old antiques store before the state-run toxins cleanup begins in early September.

Twin Spits Road – the main street through downtown Hansville – will stay open during the project, but in a town with only a trickle of shoppers, any disruption is a concern for business owners.

Christopherson will auction off all the items she can sell on Aug. 14, clearing her shelves of antiques she's been collecting for decades. Then she'll close for good.

"I didn't want to take the chance," Christopherson said of staying open through the project.

The state Department of Ecology is seeking bids for the estimated $1.1 million cleanup project, which will excavate petroleum-soaked soil from around the Hansville store. The petroleum is leftover from a former service station on the site.

Project manager Mark Adams said Monday he expects to have a contractor hired by Aug. 13. Barring setbacks, the project will start Sept. 7.

The work will be paid for with a federal stimulus grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The start date was set for early summer but Ecology pushed it to September after hearing from Hansville residents the work could scare away the summer visitors the town's businesses depend on.

Hansville Grocery and Provision company will be at the center of the excavation work. Instead of closing, owner Whit McLeod is expanding.

The store recently became a licensed restaurant McLeod has expanded the backroom dining area onto a patio outside.

McLeod is making the changes in part to compete with a new restaurant that's expected to open nearby and to make up for business lost during the project. McLeod hopes the influx of cleanup workers will also help soften the blow.

"There will be 25 guys out here working," McLeod said. "Someone's got to feed them."

Across the street, Hansville Community Church will lose parking but little else during the cleanup.

A temporary road will be built across the church's lot while soil is excavated from beneath Twin Spits Road, Elders Board Chairman Robert Longanecker said.

Longanecker said the Department of Ecology has been responsive to the town's needs so far.

"They've been great to work with," he said.

A section of water main beneath Twin Spits Road will be replaced during the project and Kitsap Public Utility District is already preparing temporary lines through several properties in the area to avoid shut offs.

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