Commissioners pledge to help secure brownfield grants | News, Sports, Jobs


YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County commissioners have approved resolutions supporting funding for four brownfields cleanup projects through the Ohio Department of Development.

The projects and amounts sought are final cleanup of the 120-acre CASTLO Industrial Park in Struthers, the former Campbell Works site of Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., $496,000; property at 2307 Market St., Youngstown, $119,350; the former Royal Sebring China site, Sebring, $1.82 million; and a site at 131 W. Woodland Ave., Youngstown, $199,773.

Debora Flora, executive director of the Mahoning County Land Bank, which is applying for the Youngstown and Sebring grants, said the funding would come from a $350 million brownfields program that is part of the state budget.

CASTLO, which is run by Sarah Lown of the Western Reserve Port Authority, applied for the state grant.

Local applications were filed in January, but the Department of Development recently requested additional information showing that the commissioners support the grants. The board approved the resolutions on Thursday.

CASTLO is “all the old industrial wastelands. These are the last 5 acres to clean up and remediate,” Lown said. Once the property is cleared, “part of this property will be dedicated as public gathering space for the Town of Struthers downtown, and part will be revitalized for new business development, so we are very pleased to have this opportunity,” she said.

Flora said she hopes to get a response from the state on the funding requests within about a month.

The West Woodland Avenue site is the former school of potential development, which was a former Lutheran church and school.

The structure will be demolished. It’s a small brownfield because there’s a “significant amount of asbestos inside, and it’s been decomposing for so long that it’s touching other materials in the building, so it must be ( cleaned) in a specific way,” Flora said. .

At the Market Street location, a floor collapsed so the asbestos fell into the hole where the floor was, meaning “everything that comes out of this building has to go in some lined containers , and it can only go to a certain landfill” because asbestos got mixed in with the debris, Flora said.

It is a three story building that was originally an ice cream shop and residential. It also functioned as a bar and cafe during its lifetime.

The 20-acre Royal Sebring property at 100 S. 15th St. no longer needs demolition above ground, but is contaminated below ground, Flora said. The previous cleaning was done there.

“We need to tackle this soil contamination. We have to bring clean fill. This is the most important part,” she said.

County officials are working to provide the 25% local matching money to make each of the projects “competitive” to fund, Flora said.

The Royal Sebring site is now owned by Mike Conny, owner of Alliance’s MAC Trailer Manufacturing Inc. The land bank sold the site to MAC Trailer in 2020.

Conny did not create the contamination, but is providing matching money for the cleanup and hopes to redevelop the site, Flora said.

Youngstown said it would provide matching money for the Woodland and Market Street projects, Flora said.

Mahoning County also received $1 million in brownfields cash when the $350 million Brownfields Project was established. This money is used to provide matching funds for the CASTLO project and to help the Sebring project.

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