Fairfield park tested for toxic materials from Julian-managed fill pile
FAIRFIELD — The town began investigating Gould Manor Park on Wednesday after reports of potential asbestos that may have come from the fill pile managed by Julian Enterprises.
The town said in a news release it had been made aware of what appear to be siding shingles potentially containing asbestos along the sidewalk of Gould Manor Park on Holland Hill Road.
Fill and topsoil from the fill pile in Richard White Way were used in renovations of the sidewalk in 2013 and 2014.
The fill pile, which Julian Enterprises began managing just before the sidewalk project began in 2013, is the subject of a recent investigation regarding the dumping of hazardous material on the site.
This week, Public Works employees Scott Bartlett and Joseph Michelangelo, as well as Jason Julian, the co-owner of Julian Enterprises, were arrested in the criminal probe.
By request of town’s Health Department, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection went to the park Wednesday to collect soil samples. Reports say that prosecutors and investigators from the Chief State’s Attorney’s office were also present at the site.
The town has requested the testing results be expedited and should be available next week.
Out of “an abundance of caution,” the town said, it will meet with subject matter experts tomorrow and will put in place any recommended interim controls to limit potential exposure.
“We’re taking this very seriously,” said First Selectman Mike Tetreau at Wednesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting.
The town said the asbestos detected in the siding shingles at the park is non-friable, meaning that it cannot be easily reduced to a powder by hand.
The town also stated the area of concern is limited to the sidewalk and does not appear to have impacted the park, playground or ball fields. It is working to identify any other town sites where fill from the pile managed by Julian may have been used.
Dana Kery, a resident of the Gould Manor Park neighborhood and Republican candidate for RTM District 7, said she submitted a complaint about what she believed was glass and asbestos in the fill by the sidewalk back in 2014.
Kery claims she reached out multiple times to Bartlett, Michelangelo, Tetreau and then-Selectmen Cristin McCarthy Vahey and Kevin Kiley.
According to emails obtained by the Fairfield Citizen, Kery met with Bartlett at the site in April 2015.
While Kery said she was not satisfied with remediation efforts at the site, emails show that Bartlett sent her updates in May 2015 and she thanked him for removing concerning material from the sidewalk area.
At the Board of Selectmen meeting, Tetreau said he had not been not aware of concerns about hazardous material at Gould Manor Park until this Tuesday.
When asked about Kery’s correspondence in 2014, Tetreau said he did not recall this, and if Michelangelo had been copied on the email he would have asked Michelangelo to follow up on it directly.
This story has been updated to reflect additional emails obtained by the Fairfield Citizen.