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CALL SPURS TEST FOR TOXIC WASTE AT GOLF COURSE EXTENSION SITE, BUT NONE IS FOUND

North Tonawanda officials got a scare this week at the city's Deerwood Golf Course.

State Department of Environmental Conservation officials notified the city that they would have to test for possible hazardous wastes beneath the site of the nearly completed nine-hole addition to the 18-hole golf course on Sweeney Street.

That is because the DEC had received a call from an East Robinson Street resident who said he suspected toxic wastes were buried beneath the site.

The unnamed resident reported that he recalled barrels being dumped during the 1960s at the golf course site, which was then known as Holiday Park and used as a municipal dump.

City Engineer Dale W. Marshall, in charge of the construction of the golf course extension, said he doubted there was any contamination.

But DEC officials said they were obligated to test for toxic waste.

After confirming with city attorney Henry J. Wojtaszek that the state had the authority to dig up parts of the newly sodded course, Marshall insisted that the state restore whatever damage resulted from the tests.

Tuesday, state workers performed geophysical tests that confirmed the presence of metal beneath the soil. Deep test holes were then dug with backhoes.

And they found . . . scrap metal, old stoves, a refrigerator and other assorted pieces of metal, but no chemical barrels.

The failure to find toxic wastes brought a collective sigh of relief from city and state officials.

The DEC testing, which took all day, probably cost $10,000 to $12,000, one city official said.

"At least now we're pretty certain there is no toxic waste beneath the golf course," Marshall said.

He estimated it will take state workers only a day to repair the damage done to the course, and that the nine-hole extension will be ready for play by fall 1999 and no later than the spring of 2000.

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