LOCAL businessman Peter Fowler is not happy.
He is concerned about upcoming works to remove underground fuel tanks from the area in front of his business in Isabella Street.
Work is expected to begin in three to four weeks at the old Central Garage site and Peter hopes the impact on his business is minimal.
Greater Taree City Council obtained a grant for the removal of the tanks through the NSW Government's Environmental Trust.
According to a statement issued by GTCC the project is part of a pilot program by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) involving the removal of underground fuel tanks, sampling and analysis of soil and the remediation of the area as required.
Peter said there are a number of concerns he has about the project. Firstly he is unsure just how long the project will take. According to a spokesperson for GTCC the timeframe is difficult to determine until initial drilling takes place.
The Chronicle was told it could take just three days to complete, but if contamination is found then it could be closer to three weeks. The works will impact the pedestrian access in front of Peter's business Manning Valley Pumps and Irrigation and as he points out the disabled parking also.
"This is the only disabled space and the footpath here will be gone," he said.
If contamination is found and the project is extended, GTCC said the access to shops will need to be maintained and temporary arrangements for pedestrian access will need to be arranged by the contractor.
Peter is also concerned for the structural integrity of the building. He thinks the site has been used as a mechanic's workshop for more than 80 years and therefore thinks it likely that some contamination will be found - his question then is how far in from the footpath and under the building will they be digging? Peter said the low awnings on his building might make it difficult for machinery to be used.
Petrolink Engineering of Penrith was the successful tender for the project.
Council says a disabled car park is available on the other side of the road while an alternate disabled parking zone for the disrupted site could be available if the community requests it.
Enquiries regarding the project should be directed to council's senior environmental health officer Philip Martin on 6592 5399 or via email to email@example.com