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September 22, 2011 Issue

Firemen appreciated Saturday
Are You Chicken?
Thermo King site still on state’s hazardous list

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Firemen appreciated Saturday

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

Saturday, Sept. 24, citizens will get a sneak peak of the city of Louisville’s new Fire Department on Peachtree Street, before the official open house in October.

Saturday will be the Louisville Fire Department’s Firemen’s Appreciation Day, thanks to an idea from Stan Fink of Auction Liquidators on Broad Street, Louisville.


“Stan at Auction Liquidators wanted to do a fundraiser for the fire department to help get some new equipment for our new station that was not in the regular budget for supplies,” Fire Chief Lamar Baxley said. “He came to us and asked us about doing a Firemen’s Appreciation Day. All the proceeds will go towards helping support the new fire station.”

Baxley said the firemen will give tours of the new station, but it is not an official open house.

“Right now we just want to give a little tour to let people see it,” he said.

The tours will be from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and will be followed by a screening of the movie Cole Younger and The Black Train, starring Michael Madsen at the Pal Theatre at 6:30 p.m.

The movie, which Baxley said is a family oriented western film, is set to be released at the end of this year. Tickets will be $8.

Next some of the film’s actors will be at Auction Liquidators for a meet and greet.

“All proceeds from the show will go to the fire department,” Baxley said. “The actors from the film will sign autographs and sell things. A percentage of that will come to the fire department to help us offset some expenses.

“We thought that this was very nice of Stan to do this for us. Everybody that we have asked or talked to have donated everything.”

Sponsors for the event include the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Pal Theatre, Thigpen Printers, WPEH, The True Citizen, Auction Liquidators and the city of Louisville.

Louisville firemen moved into the new station beside city hall on Aug. 30, according to Louisville City Administrator Don Rhodes.

The new facility was built with an $858,673 grant, which was applied for in May 2009, and awarded on Oct. 2, 2009. Ann Floyd of CSRA Regional Commission assisted in writing the grant

“It basically covered the building and also covered some of the appliances and other things in the building,” Rhodes said, adding that the building is 5,517 square feet. “We were moving the fire station because of the deplorable condition of the existing building on Seventh Street.”

The contract was awarded to 2KM Architects of Augusta on Feb. 18 at $724,820. The building was completed on Aug. 30, and the city received a certificate of occupancy on Sept. 6. Rhodes noted that the project was finished 45 days ahead of the contract’s schedule.

Rhodes said the city has four full-time firemen, as well as 27 volunteers. Before moving to the new location on Peachtree Street, the station was housed at the Seventh Street building for 36 years. Before Seventh Street, it was located on Mulberry Street in the same building that now houses The Fire House Gallery.

“We’ve only had positive responses about the building,” he said. “Our firemen are elated to have such a nice building compared to the building they were in.”

Rhodes said the fire department serves a 10-mile radius around Louisville, but goes anywhere that they are called on for assistance.

“We have four first line fire trucks,” he added.

Rhodes also explained that the awarded contract was less than the grant received and that the city will be under budget for the project.

“Eventually we will be under the awarded amount that was actually submitted to us,” he said. “There are some things we will have to figure out, and more than likely we will not be able to use the money on other things. We don’t know how much we will be under, but we will not be over.”

Baxley said his team of fire fighters is very proud of the new station.

“Everybody is tickled to death with it,” he said. “They are appreciative of it and they are all blessed with it. We are real proud of it, just as proud as we can be.”

He also wanted to thank the community for supporting the fire fighters over the years.

“If it wasn’t for the citizens in the community and county, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Baxley credited. “We wouldn’t be where we are today. And we do appreciate their support.”

Are You Chicken?

Carol McLeod
Staff Writer

As the fall winds sweep across Jefferson County, an event awaits citizens and others throughout the CSRA, the Kackleberry Farms maize seasonal opening. The corn maze will open on Saturday, Sept. 24. This year’s theme is, “Are you chicken?”

With a new corn maze season, comes new fun that includes laser tag and a zip line tour, and also baby alligators, a kiddie hay bale maze, as well as two new festivals, the Corn Festival on Kackleberry opening day, and the Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 22. And that is not all, in November and December, Mitchell and Lisa Vaughn, owners of the farm, plan to blow in snow for sled rides and snowballs. Since the maze’s inception in 2007, the farm now boasts more than 60 attractions.


One of the biggest additions this year is the Kackleberry Farm ZIPStream Aerial Adventure, with five zip lines ranging from 290 feet to 700 feet with aerial elements in between, as well as a swinging bridge and tunnels 35 to 60 feet above the ground.

The new zip line is all thanks to Don and Kim Stock of The Adventure Guild, an adventure-based, experiential education and recreation company based in Chattanooga, Tenn. The company has been serving the southeast for 14 years by providing adventure experiences with rock climbing, ropes courses, zip lines, kayaking and more.

“With the zip stream, it has two focuses,” Don Stock said. “We really want to get people out of their houses to experience the natural world. This will engage them in exciting activities to help them live. And aerial adventure is in its infancy, and we want to develop a brand and product to generate growth for sustainable income.”

To build the aerial zip lines at Kackleberry Farms will take about eight weeks, with the lines opening the first week of October.

“They contacted us about the possibility of a project here at Kackleberry Farms,” Stock explained of how the zip lines came to fruition. “It took about six to eight months to find a way to make it happen in this challenging financial market.”

The current zip lines are just apart of the projects that Stock and his company will build on the farm, with more to come in the near future.

The company has aerial adventure programs across the southeast including Ruby Falls, Tenn., with more to come in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., Columbia, S.C., and Western North Carolina.

“Riding a zip stream is hard to describe,” Stock said. “It is fun, exciting and scary. We want people to go beyond what they can do and live a little bit. We all need adventure and this helps us come alive. We are thrilled to be here in Louisville and to provide this opportunity. Mitch and Lisa are awesome. They are great friends.”

Opening day will be the first CornFest for Kackleberry Farms. The farm opens at 10 a.m., but events will begin with a corn eating contest at 2 p.m., corn toss contest at 2:15 p.m., corn carrying relay at 2:30 p.m., corn three-stalk race at 2:45 p.m., corn sack race at 3 p.m. and corn shucking contest at 3:15 p.m. Saturday will also be Market Day with vendors selling homemade items and arts and crafts.

The new laser tag venture is one that is not only offered at Kackleberry Farms, but also for other events like birthday parties or youth groups at church. Laser tag is only offered at Kackleberry Farms during the corn maze season, from Sept. 24-Nov. 13.

Events scheduled during the maze season also include Rescue Personnel Appreciation Day on Oct. 1. All rescue workers, firefighters, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, EMTs, and nurses get in free with one paid admission. Also on Oct. 1 is a visit from Edgard Diaz, and his chainsaw art, and Gapinktrucks.org will be on hand with their pink cruiser.

Oct. 8 will be Annual Scout Day, with demonstrations by naturalist Mark Warren. WOOF! Sports USA will perform a show at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Gapinktrucks.org will be showcasing their pink fire engine.

Oct. 15 will be WAFJ 88.3 FM Day, with musical entertainment by Tara Scheyer.

Oct. 22 will be NBC/CW Day, with the Fuster Buskins Hillbilly Show, as well as the celebration of Pumpkin Festival and the return of Market Day.

As Halloween nears, there will be family friendly Halloween activities on Oct. 29, with a Halloween egg hunt, a pumpkin stroll and spooky story telling by Alton Russell around the campfire that night.

Field trips and other events are available year round including the Easter Eggstravaganza and Christmas in the Country.

“Each year, we add new things to make the fall season the best yet,” Lisa Vaughn said. “We never stop working so that you can have a wonderful time when you visit our farm. From our family to yours, we invite you out to Kackleberry Farms.”

Thermo King site still on state’s hazardous list

By Carol McLeod

Besides displacing a few hundred workers, the closing of Thermo King, which was announced in July, will leave one more empty plant, a plant still on the EPD’s Hazardous Site Inventory.

The Louisville plant was listed on the inventory in July 2001.


Information from the EPD’s website states, “This site has a known release of 1,1-Dichloroethene in groundwater at levels exceeding the reportable quantity.”

The website states no human exposure from drinking water was suspected from this release. Additionally, the nearest drinking water well is less than half a mile from the area affected by the release.

The website also states the Thermo King site has a known release of Cis-1,2 Dichloroethylene in soil at levels exceeding the reportable quantity.

“This site has unlimited access. The nearest resident individual is less than 300 feet from the area affected by the release,” the website states.

Cleanup work has been ongoing for source materials, soil and groundwater.

Kevin Chambers, the EPD’s communication director, said in an interview in August that sites on the inventory are those with a known release requiring corrective action and are not in compliance with any of the risk reduction standards.

“But corrective action is being performed in compliance with a corrective action plan approved by the director which will bring this site into compliance with the risk reduction standards,” he said.

Kristen Ritter Rivera, the EPD compliance officer for the Thermo King site, said she has been working with representatives of Thermo King on this cleanup since 2007.

“They were already listed,” she said.

Rivera said representatives of Thermo King notified the EPD when the release occurred.

She said monitoring shows the contaminants have not migrated off site.

“The levels seem to be acceptable,” she said. “The ecological risk assessment came back showing that the levels are protective of the ecology in the area.”

Representatives of Ingersoll Rand, Thermo King’s parent company, have said the company plans to sell the site, once the plant is closed.

Tom Jordan, executive director of the Development Authority of Jefferson County, said having the site on the inventory could affect the ability to sell the property.

“Once it’s listed, it’s sort of a red flag; but, it can be de-listed if it’s decontaminated,” Jordan said.

“They’re monitoring the water tables that it’s in. They volunteer to do this on their own,” Lee said.

Rivera said there’s no restriction against Ingersoll Rand selling the property.

“They are a responsible party, so that means they’re required to remediate the site,” she said.

“So just selling the property will not alleviate them from remediating the contamination. There is an environmental covenant that has been placed on the property,” Rivera said.

Rivera said the length of time needed to remediate a site is proportional to the size of the property.

“There’s hundreds of acres at this site,” she said, adding the monitoring and remediation is funded by the responsible party.

“There’s been an extensive amount of investigation. We had to make sure they investigated thoroughly how much contamination there was and where it was going,” Rivera said.

“They and their consultants have been a pleasure to work with. They’ve always been very cooperative and compliant with all of our schedule requests and things like that. They’ve been very open,” she said.

Rivera said the company entered into the voluntary remediation program in March.

“Under the requirements of this legislation, they are supposed to be done in five years,” she said.

Numerous calls to Ingersoll Rand went unreturned as of press time Tuesday.

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