Alternative locations to be considered for explosives bunker - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Alternative locations to be considered for explosives bunker

There are more fireworks Tuesday night over where to store explosives in Louisville.  Some city leaders felt they had hit pay dirt after they thought the city had agreed to explore new locations for a controversial explosives depot.

The city says it will not re-open the search process entirely. Instead, a mayor's spokesman compared it to the search for a university president.  The city is willing to listen to alternatives, but already has a preferred candidate. That candidate has caused months of controversy.

Ted Pullen, Public Works Director says, "We started drawing all the lines on them and it just didn't work for one reason or another. So, basically we'd love to have your help.  If you've got a place in your district, please let us know."

Hal Heiner, (R) Council District 19 says, "I appreciate that offer to look at some additional sites." Pullen says, "But like I said, we'd like for you to make those suggestions because we've looked until we are blue in the face."

It was an olive branch of sorts. The city says it is open to suggestions from Metro Council members for alternative locations to a proposed explosives storage unit. But the administration says Cardinal Hill is still the best option.

The city's two-year search process vetted through 19 locations and found the Cardinal Hill reservoir to be the most suitable. As alternatives are weighed, design work for the Cardinal Hill unit will be suspended for 30 days.

Pullen says, "And if we are not there in the next 30 days we can prepare to move on." Heiner says, "We heard today that they have re-opened the search and I think the committee went away pleased."

But the city says it has not re-opened the search entirely. Cardinal Hill is still the city's primary choice. he city chose the location because of its secured access road. The site is also far enough away from homes, highways and railroads and does not fall in a flood plain.

If no consensus on a location can be reached within the next 30 days, a spokesman for the mayor's office says the city plans to move forward with the Cardinal Hill location. But the council could ultimately tie the city's hands by suspending the funding.

Pullen says, "I think the key point here is we've done the analysis and we have a site that meets the criteria no ifs, ands or buts about it and that is Cardinal Hill."

Metro Police say a new munitions storage unit is necessary because the current unit leaks and does not meet federal standards. The storage unit would be used to hold up to 50 pounds of black powder that could include fireworks and blasting caps.

The ATF had also considered using the location but now according to the city will find another location. This issue isn't over.  A special meeting of the public safety committee is set for next week to further discuss this matter.

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