Bernicks Comes To Terms With City Over Superior Property’s Potential Contamination Needs
It's not sure whether or not the property will need to be environmentally cleaned up. But if it does - the funding will be in place to handle it.
An agreement between Chas. A. Bernick Inc. and the City of Superior will allow the purchase of a North End property to be completed. Under terms of that agreement, the Superior Redevelopment Authority will place a portion of the agreed upon purchase price into an escrow account to handle those potential cleanup needs into the future.
The agreement will also ensure that Bernick's doesn't "bear the full cost" of any potential cleanup as they do "what is required...by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources".
A total of $50,000 will be entered into the escrow account to cover what might be needed at the "nearly three acre site at 1606 N 6th Street" in Superior. The original lease terms are from 1997, when the city entered into an agreement "as incentive to build Northwest Beverages". Chas. A. Bernick Inc. bought that business in 2019.
As part of the sale, Bernick's had an investigation performed. According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], that investigation "came up with contamination from petroleum, which is typical from fill and activities that occured in North End historically".
Sale price for the property is $221,000. That's where the $50,000 for escrow will come from. If there isn't a need for cleanup directed from the Wisconsin DNR, the money will return to the city at the end of the year.
Jason Serck, the Economic Director for the City of Superior explains that the terms of the agreement are a good value for the city:
"I thought this was a pretty good deal. I've looked at other projects that we have done in North End; they really haven't hit that threshold. It's been more site investigation and more monitoring than anything."
The threshold that Serck refers to is the point at which the city is responsible and the point where Bernick's would take over. With the escrow, the city would be responsible for any potential cleanup to to that $50,000 that's being held. Anything needed over that amount would be the responsibility of Chas. A. Bernick's Inc.