Council approves task order for HERC testing

The city is finally taking the next steps toward demolition of the HERC 2 building.

The Homer City Council passed Resolution 23-027 during their regular meeting last Tuesday, March 28, awarding a task order to HTRW, LLC from Anchorage to test the Homer Education and Recreation Complex buildings for PCBs. Budgeted for $45,000, the task order covers the costs for laboratory testing of materials taken from HERC 2 as well as “spot checking” HERC 1 to initially assess the presence of PCBs in that building, Public Works director Jan Keiser told the council.

HTRW, LLC lead consultant Chris Ottosen, to whom the task order was issued, has ordered the sample kits from the laboratory and will schedule a trip to Homer to take samples, possibly about mid-April, Keiser wrote in an email to Homer News.

The council’s vote on Resolution 23-027 initially resulted in a 3-3 tie, with council members Donna Aderhold, Storm Hansen and Rachel Lord voting in favor and council members Jason Davis, Shelly Erickson and Caroline Venuti voting against. Venuti subsequently reconsidered and voted “yes”. The resolution was adopted with the vote 4-2 in favor of awarding the task order.

Testing HERC 2 for PCBs has been a topic of discussion at council meetings and work sessions for several weeks, since the council killed an earlier resolution during their regular meeting on Feb. 27 that awarded a task order to test for PCBs. Most recently, the council held a special work session on March 20 during which Keiser answered the council members’ questions and concerns about testing, potential costs and impact on demolition plans for the HERC.

The timeline for the test results to become available is not yet established, Keiser wrote to Homer News. After the hazardous materials present in HERC 2 are better quantified, Public Works will be ready to move forward with a procurement for a contract to abate the hazardous materials and demolish the building, as Homer News previously reported.

The full recording of the March 28 meeting, as well as supplemental materials, can be found on the city council website at The council’s next regular meeting will be held on Monday, April 10 at 6 p.m.