Sheets of plastic cover tons of dirt dug up from the former Alaskan Oil Co. site on Route 11 in Malone. It is one of two properties that Franklin County will have appraised so they can be sold.

Franklin County is hiring an appraiser to determine the value of two contaminated parcels that were cleaned up using federal-stimulus funding.

Legislators are seeking proposals for professional-appraisal services for the former Alaskan Oil Co. gas station and convenience store on Route 11 in Malone and the former Savis LLC gas station and convenience store on Park Street in Tupper Lake.

Then they will seek a local law for permission to sell the land to the highest bidders.

Work crews have removed tons of contaminated soil from both sites. The State Department of Environmental Conservation has been overseeing the removal and remediation.

Some of the material was taken to a landfill, while some contamination was treated on site.

Drivers passing the Route 11 site in Malone see mountains of dirt covered in plastic sheeting, where the site was so contaminated that heavy equipment had to dig 25 feet deep to ensure all 10,000 tons of the worst contamination was removed.

Leaked fuel presented special hazards to work teams in Malone, who saw fires ignite when backhoe blades struck rock and caused sparks.

County Manager James Feeley said DEC is still working on its remediation, so the Malone site is still disrupted. He said the ground will be grated and smoothed before the property is placed on the market to give its best appearance for potential buyers.

County Attorney Jonathan Miller said the two parcels are being held out from the county's usual delinquent-property sale and offered as separate parcels because they are situated in prime business locations.

Legislators set aside $12,000 for the appraisal and the associated costs for the property sales.

The remediation funds came from the Obama Administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The parcels saw the removal of gas-pump sites, underground tanks and fuel-piping systems.

Legislators must go through the process of passing a local law to gain residents' permission to sell county-owned land.

E-mail Denise A. Raymo at: draymo@pressrepublican.com

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