GRANTVILLE (KSNT) – Cleanup efforts are underway in Grantville, Kansas, where metal and rebar from a state demolition project were dumped into the Kansas River.
Crews are sifting through piles of rubble to remove the non-permitted materials.
“We’re doing what’s right, following all the bylaws with the Corps of Engineers, Kansas Department of Health and Environment,” said Gid Dyche III, owner of Gids Earth Works. “I’m getting paid to do a job so I’m going to do it right.”
Dyche’s business was hired to clean up the mess after a 27 News investigation alerted state officials to the unauthorized material being dumped behind ‘Gary’s Berries Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.’
27 News was tipped off by Jay Brown, a concerned neighbor, who found truckloads of concrete, metal rods and other construction debris were dumped into and along the river, as part of the state’s teardown of the Docking state office building. The federal government said the project was out of compliance with an erosion control project led by property owner Gary Starr.
“I’ve seen the guys combing through the rubble and pulling out metal,” Brown said. “I’ve seen dump trucks leave. So, they’re picking out some metal and getting rid of it. Other than that, I haven’t seen a whole lot going on. They’ve got their equipment here and they’ve started the process.”
Capitol Bureau Chief Rebekah Chung visited the dumping site and found work had begun on the cleanup. Dyche said his team is cutting off the tops of trees on the riverbank to make it easier to access the area.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokesman, Matt Lara, said that the contractor in charge of the cleanup has until Nov. 17. Dyche said the KDHE told him if more time was needed it could be provided.
“We cut the trees up high so that we did not kill the stumps. So that the trees can come back…,” Dyche said. “We cut them up about 4 to 6 feet to top them off, but we did not bother the root system because the root system is helping kind of hold that in. The trees will come back.”
27 News asked Dyche if the dumping site would be covered up with dirt. Dyche said he’d been working alongside the Army Corps of Engineers to put a procedure in place and that the Army Corps was worried that covering the site with dirt would “wash out.“
“Here’s how I look at it, I have nothing to hide,” Dyche said. “I’m the one that’s in there cleaning it up and I’m going to do it the right way, we’re not in there trying to cover nothing up, we’re going to do it the right way and it is what it is.”