Esquimalt is going after outside funding to help cover the cost of assessing contamination levels near the municipal square.
Council has given the green light to staff to apply for $50,000 from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities that would offset the $125,000 brownfield evaluation. The municipality plans to chip in $75,000.
The assessment would be done on a large patch of land near the town square, where aging public works buildings were demolished last fall. The site was paved to prevent rain water from further seeping through the contaminated soil and into groundwater and is currently being used as a parking lot.
The environmental study "will tell us how badly contaminated (it is) and give us a remediation plan," said Jeff Miller, Esquimalt director of engineering and public works.
The municipality's plan for the site, still in the concept stage, is to transform the town square into a residential-commercial development called the Esquimalt Village Project. The idea still needs input from the community and consent from council.