Deserted work sites share cleanup
Ohio grants cover rehab of facilities
By Steve Murphy
Because of state grants announced yesterday, Napoleon
officials look forward to replacing a junkyard with a
In Sandusky, planners expect to knock down three decrepit,
19th century factory buildings along Lake Erie and erect
condominiums in their place.
And in Toledo, an industrial waste site eventually will
be cleaned and used for riverfront housing.
Those are among 18 projects receiving a total of almost
$40 million from the Clean Ohio Fund, which voters approved
three years ago as a way to rehabilitate polluted, abandoned
"The Clean Ohio Fund is a powerful tool that helps
communities jump-start economic development," Gov.
Bob Taft said.
State officials chose the grant recipients after reviewing
22 applications for a total of $54 million, said Mike
Logan, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Development.
"Itís a really hard decision, because all the communities
and projects that were submitted were very good projects,
but thereís only so much money," he said.
A $2.7 million award to Napoleon revives plans to clean
up an auto salvage yard along State Rt. 424 to make room
for a 40,000-square-foot manufacturing/warehouse facility.
City officials had announced plans early last year to
clear the 62-acre site of Hogrefe Auto Parts, which is
filled with nearly 7,000 old cars and tires, plus an old
landfill. But the project was stalled when Napoleonís
application for a $2.6 million state grant was rejected
in July, 2002.
City Manager Jon Bisher said Napoleon officials revised
their grant application with help from the Ohio Environmental
During a presentation Monday to state officials, the
city touted its cleanup and redevelopment of a 15-acre
site next to the junkyard.
Earlier this year, a packaging firm, Wepack, began operations
in a building erected by the city on Commerce Drive. The
company now employs 25 people.
"On one side of the road, youíve got jobs and this
building, and on the other side youíve got auto wrecks,
and thatís why it was important for us to move ahead with
this project," Mr. Bisher said.
The city is hoping to revitalize the site in connection
with plans by the state to replace U.S. 24 between Napoleon
The Henry County Community Improvement Corp. has estimated
that the brownfield project could create up to 5,000 jobs
over 10 years.
In Sandusky, the cityís $3 million award will buy and
refurbish property occupied by three former industrial
buildings to accommodate a lakefront condo development.
The Chesapeake Building, the Keller Building, and the
Tricor Building were used for industrial production starting
in the 1890s.
The Erie County city has tried for years to spruce up
its waterfront, which includes the Cedar Point amusement
Toledo is receiving $3 million to purchase a former Pilkington
waste disposal site at I-75 and Miami Street that will
be turned into a development of condos, townhouses, and
The 44-acre property along the eastern bank of the Maumee
River is next to the Pilkington North America glass plant
that straddles the Toledo-Rossford border.