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Jefferson County awarded brownfield remediation funds

STEUBENVILLE — Jefferson County has been awarded nearly a half-million dollars through the new Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, which was passed as part of the State Operating Budget and designates funds to clean up hazardous sites and prepare them for future economic development.

Jefferson County Port Authority received $175,000 for the Piney Fork UST property and $300,000 for the Tidewater Honey Creek property.

“It’s a good day, we’re very happy,” Robert Naylor, the port authority’s executive director, said Wednesday. “(And) we have four more projects pending.”

Naylor said they’ve worked with communities throughout Jefferson County to identify properties that would qualify for Ohio’s new remediation program.

He said the Brownfield Coalition, a cooperative made up of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission and port authority, also has spent some money at some of the properties, including Piney Fork.

He said the port authority is “cautiously optimistic and confident” the four pending projects — one in Toronto, two in Mingo Junction and a fourth in Steubenville — will be funded. Still on the port authority’s fingers-crossed list are the old Kaul Clay site and the old Clark gas station/OHC Energy LLC property, “which will, hopefully, be another step forward on the South Third Street corridor development project,” he said.

“The port authority believes we have a strong application and will be looked on favorably,” he said, adding, they’re hoping “that it’s just the beginning and that we will get the other four grants. It’s very exciting for our area and for the port authority to be involved in projects of this scope.”

“It’s been a collaborative effort,” he said. “I think it demonstrates what can be accomplished when we all work together.”

State Rep. Ron Ferguson, R-Wintersville, applauded the program.

“The Brownfield Remediation Program is one that I am pleased to see taking effect in the 96th District as the program works to revitalize former industrial sites,” Ferguson said. “This program will allow for these communities to thrive with future opportunities and development.”

In addition to the two Jefferson County awards, Belmont County received $84,150 in brownfield funds for clean-up and remediation of the Bellaire Hospital site.

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