Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted Tuesday awarded more than $60 million in funding to help local communities clean up dozens of contaminated properties to make way for future economic development.  

As part of the new Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, the Ohio Department of Development is providing funding for 78 projects, including approximately $54.8 million for 37 clean-up projects and $5.5 million for 41 assessment projects. These projects will impact communities in 35 counties across the state.

“These hazardous, decaying sites — some of which have been vacant for decades — are barriers to economic growth and community revitalization, but now, we're going to help breathe new life into these areas,” said Governor DeWine. “The projects we’re funding today will not only revive these sites for new development, but they’ll also improve quality of life and open the door for exciting new opportunities for the citizens of our state.”

Governor DeWine announced the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program grant awards Tuesday morning while visiting Mansfield, where a $3 million grant will be used to remediate petroleum tanks and hazardous chemicals at the remaining Westinghouse Electric Products buildings, which have been vacant since 1990. Westinghouse produced appliances such as electric ranges, curling irons, and coffee makers beginning in 1918. The site is expected to be redeveloped into housing, businesses and/or greenspace in the future.

Tuesday's $60 million grant announcement represents the first group of grants awarded as part of Round 1 of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, with nearly $350 million to be invested in total across the state in coming months.

“More businesses are looking to expand in Ohio, but they need sites that are ready to go immediately,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “By cleaning up brownfield sites, we are creating locations that are ready to accommodate a business expansion. We are also transforming communities by removing blighted buildings and turning those sites into new opportunities for economic development.”

Funds awarded today will help to assess and clean up industrial, commercial and institutional brownfield sites that are abandoned, idled or underutilized due to a known or potential release of hazardous substances or petroleum. Following site remediation, properties can be redeveloped to revitalize neighborhoods and attract new economic development.

“We’re very excited about the future of these sites,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Department of Development. “These grants will have a positive impact in our communities, helping them remove blighted properties and prepare sites for redevelopment.”

There were four grants awarded in Highland County, including three to the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank) and one to the Village of Greenfield. Those include the following.

• HCLRC: East Monroe Mill, $71,047 Assessment. Located near the city of Hillsboro, this former mill property currently houses one vacant and partially collapsed building that is not suitable for use. Assessment of the property includes VAP Phase I Property Assessment, Asbestos Survey and VAP Phase II Property Assessment. After assessment and remediation, the city hopes to demolish the building to prepare the property for redevelopment.

• HCLRC: Rocky Fork Truck Stop Redevelopment, $122,784 Assessment The Rocky Fork Truck Stop was a truck stop and gas station since 1990 but has been vacant since its closure in 2016. The property is located between two state parks in a rapidly expanding area of Highland County. The Brownfield Remediation Program assessment will help the county conduct a VAP Phase I PA, Phase II PA, Asbestos Inspection and a Geophysical Survey. After assessment and remediation, there are plans to redevelop the site as a retail market with on-site parking.

• HCLRC: The Elliott Hotel, $19,718 Assessment. Formerly the site of the Elliott Hotel in the village of Greenfield, the site has been vacant for many years and the building has suffered severe deterioration, has a partially collapsed roof and is unsafe for the community. An assessment will be conducted to determine remediation needed prior to demolition of this blight to the community.

• Village of Greenfield: Power Plant, $300,000 Assessment. This property is the former site of a power plant in the village of Greenfield. Assessment of the property includes a Phase I and Phase II Environmental Assessment to determine the impact and cost for redevelopment. The Village would like to prepare the old power plant site for redevelopment as a recreation area after remediation.

Other examples among the 78 projects receiving funding are:

• Port Authority of Allen County: $710,000 for asbestos abatement and demolition of the former Allen County Home, vacant for more than a decade, to open the site for future redevelopment.

• Community Improvement Corporation of Belmont County: $84,150 for remediation of asbestos at Bellaire Hospital located in pipe insulation, window glazing, caulking and floor tile to allow for future safe renovation.

• Westinghouse-Breakwater Properties (Cuyahoga County): $2.6 million for the abatement of hazardous materials and demolition of hazardous sites on a 3.6-acre property that houses an industrial facility, factory buildings and warehouses constructed in the 1890s. The site, most recently home to Paramount Stamping and Welding, is expected to be redeveloped into a mixed-use development space.

• Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority (Hamilton County): $900,000 for asbestos abatement at the Shillito West Building, formerly a department store at a key corner in the downtown central business district in Cincinnati. Once completed, the property can be rehabilitated or demolished for redevelopment.

• Lucas County Land Reutilization Corporation: $1 million for asbestos abatement and lead-based paint removal throughout the Spitzer Building in downtown Toledo, which was constructed in the 1890s as one of the earliest skyscrapers in Ohio. The site is expected to be redeveloped as a mixed-use residential and commercial space.

• Piketon Village (Pike County): $1.1 million for the removal of an underground fuel storage tank, asbestos abatement, and soil remediation at the site of the former Piketon High School. The original 1975 gymnasium is expected to be renovated into an event center, and there are plans for a new building to be constructed for commercial and office use.

• Portsmouth City Health Department (Scioto County): $151,500 for asbestos abatement at the former Martings Department Store in downtown Portsmouth. Constructed in 1909, the location has been vacant since early 2000. After abatement, the site is expected to be rehabilitated and opened as developable space.

• Century Plaza Hotel (Stark County): $3.4 million to remove materials containing asbestos from the city’s first skyscraper, the 1914 Renkert Building. The removal of toxic asbestos from the 10-story building will allow for the planned redevelopment of the building into a 92-room extended-stay hotel across from Canton’s Centennial Plaza.

• Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corporation: $3.4 million for the environmental remediation and demolition of the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital. The site will be revitalized for residential or commercial/industrial development.

• Warren County Port Authority: $1 million to remediate vacant sites at the Middletown Towne Mall that have fallen into disrepair. The site is expected to be redeveloped as the Middletown Entertainment and Sports Venue.

The Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program was created with support from the Ohio General Assembly in the current operating budget. Tuesday's awards are the first group of funds from Round 1, with another group to be announced in the near future.

Funding for the program is first-come, first-served with a $1 million set-aside for each county. The Ohio Department of Development is accepting Round 2 applications until April 30 from counties that have not yet exhausted their $1 million set-aside. A full breakdown of counties with remaining funds is available on the Ohio Department of Development's website. All remaining funds not exhausted in the first two rounds will be made available statewide in Round 3, which will begin on July 1, 2022.

For more information on the Brownfield Remediation Program, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/Brownfield.

The program is part of Governor DeWine's Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings and more.