September 20, 2011

Toxic Dirt At New Mountain Bike Park

By Dave D'Marko, Reporter
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 4:36 AM

The City Beautiful is refusing to open a new mountain bike park right now because city inspectors discovered the park has toxic dirt inside.
They spent weeks carving out trails in the woods of Area C, the long abandoned former site of the Orlando Naval Training Center.
Five months ago the newly named Lake Druid Park had its first event.
"It wasn't quite a grand opening, but it was here, it is pretty much done," said Kyle's Bike Shop owner Kyle Markel.
But now, Orlando's newly formed Mountain Bike Club has found one dirt hill they can't take on.
To make way for the park, the City of Orlando demolished a 1950s era Naval building. But when they tested the soil below, inspectors said they found potentially harmful pesticides used to kill termites.
"Everybody was getting on Facebook page and everybody was just trying to get involved. For it just to come to a screeching halt and it's been a halt for a while, and it seems like the buzz we had going for is dwindling away," Markel.
Under the agreement when they got the land, it's up to the Navy to clean the land. The Navy will have to come in and do their own contamination tests.
Signs have been posted for a public hearing Tuesday, but the city said that's a long-range planning meeting for the property and they won't discuss contamination or how long it could delay the mountain bike park's opening, angering Coytown neighbors.
"Tell us what it is so we know what to expect, possible cancer I don't know. But knowledge is power, but we as neighborhood have right to know what's next door to us," said resident Linda Reinders.
A city spokesperson said they aren't surprised there's contamination in the area of Lake Druid. But officials thought it to be only on the north side of the property, which isn't being used right now.
Currently, the city hopes that since the Navy was already aware they would have to clean up the property one day, this cleanup will happen more quickly.