LOUISVILLE DISTRICT

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Posted 12/18/2009

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By Todd Hornback


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $51.5 million contract to KBE Ventures, a joint venture of KBE Building Corporation, Farmington, Conn., and Derita Construction Co., Inc., of Middletown, Conn., for construction of the Middletown Armed Forces Reserve Center at Cucia Park in the City of Middletown, Conn.

The contract award emphasizes what can be accomplished when residents, community and congressional leaders and the Army work together.

"I want to thank the Middletown, Conn., and congressional leadership for their partnership to bring this project to fruition," said Louisville District Commander Col. Keith Landry. "Most importantly, a big thanks to the Middletown residents who offered their invaluable support and input into the process. We could not have awarded this contract without all of the community support."

Middletown Mayor Sebastian N. Giuliano agreed with Landry regarding the active input of the city’s residents.

"I think the whole process was enhanced by the active and passionate involvement of our citizens, those that were immediately impacted and those that weren’t. I think the city’s Citizen Army Base Advisory Panel and the work of our planning office can be models on how something like this can work and the communications level necessary between a local municipality and the Army.

"I also give credit to the Army for their willingness to listen to our needs, concerns and issues and their willingness to include those thoughts into site selection, and now construction. Middletown will welcome the Army to town," said Giuliano.

The contract includes construction of a 164,000 square-foot training facility with administrative, educational, assembly, library, learning center, vault, weapons simulator and physical fitness areas for four Army Reserve units and six Connecticut Army National Guard units.

Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell, stated, "Today’s announcement regarding construction award of the Middletown Armed Forces Reserve Center signifies we have cleared yet another critical gate in the process of delivering this project for Soldiers in our Connecticut National Guard. Although several gates still remain, I am encouraged by the collaborative manner with which the Corps, the city and the many stakeholders are now working to make this sorely-needed project happen."

The 42-acre park is zoned industrial. The reserve center support facilities include a 35,000 square-foot organizational maintenance shop and a 3,886 square-foot unheated storage building. In addition, the contract includes associated parking areas, walkways and access roads. Approximately 100 full-time personnel are expected to use the campus.

"I am pleased that the Army is moving forward on the Cucia Park site, and balancing the needs of the community with those of Connecticut men and women who serve in the Army Reserve and National Guard," Rep. Rosa DeLauro said in the Oct. 15 release. "Today’s announcement is the direct result of the Army ultimately listening to the concerns of the city and its residents to ensure that a mutually agreeable site was selected. I believe the center will provide both a much needed new home for Connecticut’s guard and reserve and benefits for our community at large, and I will continue to work with the Army, the city and the Middletown community to ensure proper development of the site."

"This marks a proud occasion not only for the citizens of Middletown, but also for those who serve so proudly in the Connecticut National Guard and the reserves," said Sen. Joe Lieberman. "This state-of-the-art facility will provide our brave service members with greatly improved training and quality of life, making them better prepared to defend our country."

The reserve campus is to be built at a former industrial site currently known as the Cucia Park on Smith St. in Middletown. The U.S. Army Reserve 99th Regional Support Command has applied for a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New England District. They are currently reviewing the application in collaboration with federal resource agencies. The Corps will issue, deny, or issue with special conditions, a permit for the Cucia Park site.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

sealed. The seal ensures that the remaining soil in the area isn’t disturbed due to water infiltration. The Corps continues to inspect the cap annually, and the most recent inspection shows that the cap is working as designed.

What is land being used for today?

The Marion School District sold the site to local businessman Ted Graham, who is in the process of having it rezoned for industrial purposes, in accordance with the deed restriction. The property can’t be used for school or residential purposes. Graham was (and still is) a member of the Restoration Advisory Board, a group of community citizens, Ohio EPA and Board of Health members, and district officials who met monthly during the Corps’ investigation. Graham said he’s confident in the integrity and safety of the land he purchased.

 

"The government came in and cleaned it up by the book," he said. "I haven’t heard any complaints from the community except for one or two dissidents, and you’ll never make them happy. My workers are confident they cleaned up the place and they feel safe working there."

 

Can’t take the depot out of context

The American way of life depended on an Allied victory in World War II, and victory in Europe and the Pacific depended on an efficient war machine that destroyed either the enemy or its will to fight. The Army’s standard operating procedures at that time couldn’t account for what’s known today about the toxicology of certain chemicals or how they were disposed of. The Soldier who dug the trench or set flame to it had no reason to believe he was creating a situation that could potentially harm Americans more than half a century later.

 

"Now we have the National Cancer Institute, the International Agency for the Research of Cancer, all subsequent to the laws that were promulgated in the 1970s," said Brancato. There was activity on installations that would not meet today’s standards based on RCRA and CERCLA. That knowledge base is changing the way we do business. Still, there is a tendency to forget the sacrifices these veterans made and the risk that the country was in at the time."

 

 

The ARRA military construction and civil works projects that the Louisville District will undertake meet these five congressionally mandated criteria:

Be obligated/executed quickly

Result in high, immediate employment

Have little schedule risk

Be executed by contract or direct hire of temporary labor

Complete a project phase, a project, an element, or will provide a useful service that does not require additional funding

The projects are distributed very broadly across the United States. Potentially, the Army Corps of Engineers had more than $15 billion in work that could have been done, however in the final tally, $4.6 billion-or approximately one third-actually made the list of final ARRA projects nationwide.

The ARRA projects’ progress is tracked and scrutinized in an effort to provide transparency to the American people and to ensure project milestones are being met. The Army Corps of Engineers participates in interagency ARRA teleconferences with the office of the Vice President. These calls highlight significant activities regarding ARRA civil works projects.

A project summary for the Louisville District includes the following projects:

 

Military Projects estimated to be $137 million:

Brockton, Mass.

Defense Construction Supply Center

Detroit Arsenal

Fort Buchanan

Fort Knox

Providence (Cranston), Rhode Island

Puerto Rico

Rock Island Arsenal

Tacoma, Washington

Civil Works Projects estimated to be $53 million:

Olmsted Locks and Dam

John T. Myers Locks and Dam

Ohio River Greenway, Indiana

Ohio River Shoreline

Markland Locks and Dam

Duck Creek, Ohio

 

Numerous Army Corps of Engineers lake projects were awarded ARRA funding for staffing safety and recreation improvements.

The Louisville District made a recent award for military projects. The Tacoma, Washington pier project was awarded on July 2.

For civil works contracts, the first of three Markland Locks and Dam contracts was awarded on June 30. This was for fabrication of a custom milling machine and associated hardware to be used on site for milling lock embedded metals in preparation for installation of new lock miter gates. The second contract will be an award for a miter gate assembly pier to support installation and maintenance of new lock miter gates. The third contract will be for fabrication and installation of new lock filling and emptying valves to be awarded in Fiscal Year 2009. Within the next 60 days, the three Markland Lock and Dam project contracts are expected to be awarded.

As of June, approximately 17 civil works projects and one military project were awarded under the ARRA.

Joanne M. Milo, supervisory program management and deputy chief, in Planning, Programs, Project Management Division, has oversight of the District’s ARRA program.

 

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