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EastToledo industrial site soon to be ready for new life

A once highly polluted East Toledo industrial site should be ready for redevelopment soon thanks to a $2 million state grant the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has obtained to finish cleanup efforts started there.

Matt Sapara, the port authority's director of economic development, said yesterday that he believes the agency won the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund grant to clean up the former Toledo Coke property because of the diverse sources of earlier $1.38 million in state and federal grants it used to perform environmental assessments and provide an access road and utilities.

"This project is an excellent example of local, state, and federal political subdivisions bringing resources together to redevelop a former brownfield," Paul Toth, the port authority's president, said in a statement announcing the grant.

Mr. Sapara said that with access to rail, heavy truck, and waterborne transportation, the 32-acre riverfront property will be ideal for heavy manufacturing or other industrial uses.

He cited the alternative-energy sector - most notably, wind-turbine assembly - as a distinct possibility.

Three prospective users with whom the port authority has talked about the site are "all of that nature," he said.

The agency bought the site in 2004 for $900,000 to facilitate its cleanup and then pursue its redevelopment potential.

Mr. Sapara said the latest grant, announced Friday, will pay for:

•Removing 10,748 cubic yards of contaminated soil that will be buried in a licensed landfill

•Excavating and re-spreading an additional 6,178 cubic yards of dirt that is safe enough to bury elsewhere on the site

•Disposing of 100 tons of demolition debris left behind when the Toledo Coke plant was torn down during the mid-1990s

•Demolition and removal of 84,865 square feet of concrete foundation, also a plant remnant.

The port authority's board of directors is likely to vote during its Dec. 17 meeting on accepting the state grant, Mr. Sapara said.

The cleanup work could begin as early as the first quarter of 2010 and is expected to take 20 months to complete, he said.

The site is across the Norfolk Southern railroad track from the 181-acre former Gulf Oil refinery site that the port authority now is redeveloping as its Ironville Dock.

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