VIDEO: Residents worry new Alamo park may be unsafe

ALAMO (KRON) — Some neighbors in the East Bay city of Alamo are concerned that a new park might not be safe.

At the corner of Danville Boulevard and Hemme Avenue in Alamo a new park, Hemme Station, is under construction.

Through the fence, you can see new benches, a bathroom, and paved pathways. But, some neighbors believe the park may be unsafe because of something you can’t see.

David Cardiff lives nearby. He says that this location used to be the site of a hotel, The Shady Way Inn, which also had old standard oil gas pumps. The hotel was demolished in the 1960’s but Cardiff worries that lead contamination from the pumps could be lingering in the ground

“The problem with those old tanks is that they were riveted,” Cardiff said. “They weren’t a completely sealed tank so the chances of them leaking was high.”

The county acquired the land from the San Ramon Valley fire district in 2014. As part of the environmental review of the Hemme Station project, a contractor was hired to test the ground for any contamination. Their tests found that the site was safe. But the contractor’s investigation apparently didn’t factor in The Shady Way Inn or its gas pumps.

When concerned neighbors pointed out the potential danger the county asked the same contractor to retest the property. Back in May, the contractor announced that they did find elevated lead levels at one spot near Danville Boulevard but they ultimately concluded that “Based on a review of the analytical results, it is our opinion that there is no evidence of impact to the Property due to the former gasoline station.”

David Cardiff is skeptical.

“And the county is now taking on the responsibility of if there’s a problem we will just deal with it later on down the road,” Cardiff said.

Back in may, after the last round of test results were released, Contra Costa County supervisor Candance Anderson, who represents the area, posted on Nextdoor.com that “The new Hemme Station park is absolutely safe for children and adults.”

At this point, construction of the park continues and the Hemme Station is scheduled to be completed later this year.

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