Cleanup at Old Hatchett's Grocery

by Julie Montanaro
September 22, 7:15pm

A century-old grocery store is up on blocks as the state of Florida begins to clean up years of gasoline contamination.

It's called Dennis's Trading Post now, but for 80 years or more it was known as Hatchett's Grocery on Highway 19 in Monticello.

The Department of Environmental Protection is cleaning up gasoline that leaked from old tanks and into the soil decades ago. The store was picked up and moved this week to make way for the bulldozers.

"It's great that the property is going to be preserved. We could have torn the building down, but I didn't want to do that. It's like, let's try to save a little bit of the history," said store owner Dennis Pitts.

A Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman calls the cleanup high priority, but says there was no ground water contamination at the site. She couldn't estimate how much the cleanup would cost or how long it would take.