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Threat or a promise?

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 4:40 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 4:37 p.m. CDT

SPRING VALLEY — Tempers once again flared at the Spring Valley City Council meeting on Monday when discussion turned to the Bassick property.

A resident began asking questions about the property pertaining specifically to possible contaminants in the soil. The site has a "No Further Remediation" letter from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency as long as a 40-by-70-foot section of the land is capped. Mayor Cliff Banks reiterated his worries about the property.

“They never sold me on the idea that it was clean,” Banks said.

He also said the city has no plans on buying the property. When alderman Chuck Hansen commented the decision won't be coming from the mayor seat, but from all of them, Banks took exception.

“I've had enough of you,” Banks told Hanson.

Banks said he would “meet him down the road” and accused Hanson of trying to run the town into the ground for the past 20 years. He also said that if Hanson was so interested in the land, then he should buy it and make some money.

“Buy it, Chuckie,” Banks said.

Hanson said he has no reservations about the land, as long as the eventual owners follow the conditions of the "No Further Remediation" letter 100 percent.

“Invensys can sell it to anybody they want,” Hanson said.

Alderman Dan McFadden said the council has been dealing with the land for the past 20 years and followed up with residents' concerns about dumping.

“We wanted to do our due diligence,” McFadden said.

He said if anyone knows of any dumping on the site, they should come forward so it can be dealt with appropriately.

Alderman Jim Taliano said the city is working to plan a public meeting where citizens can meet with the environmental lawyer hired by the city and ask questions about the property.

After the conclusion of the meeting, Banks once again raised his voice at Hanson and began pointing his finger at the alderman. Hanson asked the mayor if he was threatening him, to which the mayor replied that it wasn't a threat, it was a promise.

Comment on this story at www.bcrnews.com.

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