projects get top ratings for cleanup Toledo Blade
A local committee assigned to rate applications for a share
of $40 million in state brownfields cleanup funds rates
the Marina and Arena districts as the two highest priority
projects from Lucas County.
Those two projects, along with one other, now go to the
state Department of Development for a final ranking. The
local group is seeking $3 million for each project.
If approved by the state this summer, the grants will help
clear the way for the city to take ownership of the former
Acme power plant property owned by Toledo Edison on the
The 125-acre Marina district site between the Martin Luther
King, Jr., Bridge and the I-280 bridge is planned for an
entertainment, residential, commercial, and business complex
being developed by Columbus developer Frank Kass. The Arena
district is included within that area.
The District 12 Integrating Committee met yesterday to assign
points to three projects. Keith Earley, Lucas County engineer,
chairs the committee.
The committee awarded 79 points each to the Marina and Arena
districts out of a possible 102. It ranked the Arena District
and the Marina District as its first and second priority
"Looking at the criteria, I’d say they’re going to be very
competitive," Mark Drennen, administrative deputy for the
county engineer’s office, said.
He said no project could qualify for the full 102 points.
The third local project is the Stickney West Industrial
Park project at 56 Tyler St. in Toledo, which received 78
points as the third priority. The city is seeking $525,000
for that project.
Jim Mettler, coordinator of the Arena District project for
the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, said he does not
know how the rankings compare with 24 other projects from
around the state. But he said he believes Toledo’s applications
are among the most ambitious.
"We think we have very strong applications. It’s a good
thing that the district integrating committee showed the
same support for the project that the rest of the community
has," Mr. Mettler said.
The Arena District is 54 acres including the site of the
Toledo Sports Arena, the George Gradel Co. property, and
some of the Toledo Edison property. The Marina District
is 29.25 acres owned by Toledo Edison.
The rest of the acreage is not covered by the grant application.
The $400 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund was established
after a statewide referendum in November, 2000. Half of
the fund is dedicated to brownfields cleanup, with $40 million
to be awarded annually for four years through a competitive
The environmental cleanup of the Marina and Arena district
project is estimated at $15 million.
The contamination consists mainly of coal and fly ash pits.
Toledo Edison recently extended a deadline for the city
to accept the former Acme power plant property until Sept.
Mayor Jack Ford has asked city council for approval of a
three-month, $45,000 contract with Tom Chema, president
of Gateway Consultants Group, Inc., of Cleveland to do a
feasibility study of the financing of the project.
Last week a downtown business group announced it had retained
its own consultant to do a feasibility study and a site
plan for a downtown arena.
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