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Cost hits $18M to clean up former Lake Merced gun club site

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The former Pacific Rod and Gun Club is seen along the shores of San Francisco’s Lake Merced Wednesday, September 7, 2016. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)
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No more shooting, but kayaking, bocce ball and picnic areas are in store for the former Pacific Rod and Gun Club site at Lake Merced.

To get there, The City authorized Wednesday spending an additional $2.3 million on the cleanup effort, bringing the total cleanup cost to $18 million.

A portion of that, however, could be offset by the $8.3 million settlement agreement pending approval by the Board of Supervisors that would come from the club after The City sued in March 2014 for nuisance and breach of contract.

The board’s Budget and Finance Committee gave final approval Wednesday to allow the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, which is working with the Recreation and Park Department, to spend an additional $2.3 million on the remediation effort underway.

The Pacific Rod and Gun Club, located at 520 John Muir Drive, the southwestern shore of Lake Merced, was used as a skeet and trap shooting range since 1928, but as a result the area became contaminated with high levels of lead and polyaromatic hydrocarbons.

The City was ordered to do something about that contamination in 2013 by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and so began the cleanup effort.

Actual cleanup work began in April 2015 with the excavation and hauling off of 80,000 tons of contaminated soil and debris. Clean soil was brought in and the place was replanted with native vegetation.

Obi Nzewi, a project manager with SFPUC, said the additional $2.3 million was needed “to work with the Recreation and Park Department to facilitate site redevelopment for public recreation and complete some limited soil remediation that still needs to be done at the site.”

That work includes addressing contamination found beneath one of the buildings on site and the need to do more environmental review “to allow for demolition and construction of a new building,” according to a Budget Analyst report.

Once the remediation work is complete, the Recreation and Park Department will work with
Lake Merced Recreation, LLC, on the new recreational uses for the site. Lake Merced Recreation, LLC., plans to “construct improvements to the site in three phases between 2018 and 2020,” the report said.

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