Brownfields money more for our region | News, Sports, Jobs
Our region’s industrial past has a way of enduring, even as local economies grow and the landscape changes. Local residents are all too familiar with these sites we drive through and wonder “When are they going to clean this up?” Where “when is someone going to do something with this place?”
When companies don’t do their duty by leaving no trace once they’ve packed up and left, it’s up to the taxpayers to do the dirty work. But it’s encouraging to know that progress is being made on that front, as Gov. Mike DeWine’s office Friday announced 112 more projects in Ohio’s $192 million brownfields remediation program. dollars and affecting 41 counties.
“These properties are vital spaces in our communities, which are not only wasted in their current capacity, but are often a danger to their local communities,” said DeWine.
“Today, we are reclaiming these spaces for the future of our residents, businesses and communities.”
The money will come to the Jefferson County Port Authority to work on several projects, including:
≤ $300,000 to provide an appraisal of the JSW Steel property at Mingo Junction, which has been used as a steel and industrial facility since 1900. This is an environmental assessment that is required before JSW can move forward with modernization and expansion plans.
≤ $190,000 for an assessment of the former American Dry Cleaners site. The location was first developed in 1910 and served as a grocery and appliance store before the dry cleaning business was established. The building was demolished by the land bank in 2021. Soil and groundwater assessments are needed to determine if any contamination remains from the operations of the dry cleaner, which closed in the 1990s. After assessment, the land bank is considering selling the property to an adjacent owner for residential or commercial redevelopment.
≤ $210,000 for an appraisal at 256 S. Third St. in Steubenville. The site has been used as a service station since at least 1973, and a documented oil release occurred there in the mid-2000s. Four underground storage tanks are present on the property and have been out of service since 2008. The assessment will include identification of the location and extent of contamination and analysis of soil and groundwater. After assessment, the Port Authority plans to prepare the site for redevelopment.
≤ $75,000 for an appraisal at R&T Properties in Toronto, which served as an earth pipe manufacturing plant from 1892 to 1980. A structure remains on the site and is in poor condition. The work will help determine if an oil release has occurred in addition to soil and groundwater testing. After evaluation and necessary repairs, the owner plans to sell the property for commercial or industrial redevelopment.
Site preparation has become an economic development priority here in Buckeye State, and there are certainly many sites that need some serious work before anyone can start talking about it. “preparation”.
Making progress on this work will mean a lift for communities even if a new use is not found for these sites immediately.
“These funds are important investments in the future of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By cleaning up these dangerous sites, we are creating new opportunities for economic growth that will benefit businesses and residents for years to come.
Hopefully this progress will continue until the job is done, no matter how long that takes.
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