Fairway Oaks residents get soil tested

Residents soil samples tested at inaugural GoGreen Soil Workshop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Fairway Oaks residents, who blame HabiJax for poor construction that left their homes falling apart, had their soil tested Saturday at a city event for homeowners.

The residents said the soil testing takes them one step closer to getting some answers about the state of their property.

Shirley Dempsey showed I-TEAM investigators the samples of soil from her property and 10 other properties in her neighborhood that she had tested at the inaugural GoGreen Soil Workshop. Dempsey said she’s relieved the results came out positive and there are no signs of lead, but now, she’s concerned about the consistency of the soil – it’s soft, like beach sand.

“As I looked at everybody else that was bringing the soil in, I noticed how dark their soil was, and I’m thinking, ‘Why is my soil yellow?’ Not in one batch, but all of them,” Dempsey said.

Dempsey said she wants more answers about what type of soil her home was built on.

“I’m at a dilemma,” Dempsey said. “What is this that our homes are built on? If this is something that is so soft that nothing can grow, and as soft as this sand is, should our houses be built on this type of sand?”

The soil test was another measure the residents have taken after the start of a monthslong I-TEAM investigation and a private meeting with Mayor Lenny Curry last week.

Curry told residents that he would never sign off on anything that would require them to stay on contaminated land. The Environmental Protection Agency has already been on site and there are plans for the agency to come out and do more soil sampling.

There is no set date on when the EPA is expected to go back out to the neighborhood for testing.