WARREN — The Trumbull County Land Bank is pushing for an $11 million grant to address six brownfield sites across the county over the next two years, and an additional $10 million grant to demolish 200 deteriorating buildings.
The initial $11 million grant, if approved, would come from Ohio’s Brownfields Remediation Program.
The state has $350 million to provide to eligible communities, according to Shawn Carvin, director of the Trumbull County Land Bank.
“We applied for the grant in January,” Carvin said. “We should learn if we get it in March.”
If approved, the land reserve will use a portion to help the city pay for the demolition of the former St. Joseph Riverside Hospital on Tod Avenue NW, Carvin said.
Mayor Doug Franklin announced last year that the city would receive a $2.5 million grant from the Ohio Development Services Agency to remove asbestos from the hospital.
“The city has agreed to demolish the hospital”, Michael Keys, director of Warren’s community development department, said. “We got money from the state, but any extra money will help.”
It is estimated that the cost will be approximately $5 million for the demolition of the hospital. Keys noted that communities, such as Warren, have several sites that need environmental cleanups but have limited funds to do the work.
City officials want all available land and buildings to be cleared of environmental hazards, especially on properties likely to be developed.
“If we can clean them up, we can attract developers”, Keys says. “Developers don’t want to step in to remove asbestos from buildings or clean up properties that could pose risks to the environment. »
Keys noted that the city was short on money, so it couldn’t make repairs without state or federal help.
While waiting to hear about the brownfields grant, Carvin said the land bank is also applying for a $10 million grant from the building demolition and site revitalization program, which has $150 million to provide. to Ohio communities. The deadline for submitting this grant application is later in the month.
“We currently have the 200 properties identified”, Carvin said. “We are simply working to obtain the documentation and authorizations required to carry out the demolitions as part of the grant application.
Of the 200, the land bank has all the required documentation on 30 properties and should have the rest by the end of next week.
“If properties are not currently condemned or on a community’s condemnation list, we perform inspections to ensure the property is vacant, degraded and requires demolition,” he said. “As part of the grant application, we will have photos of each property and a general description of the condition.”
If the land bank receives the brownfield grant, it has until the end of 2023 to use all of its funds, Carvin said.
Other commercial properties named in the Asbestos and Hazardous Materials Remediation and/or Demolition grant application are:
• Former RG Steel Administration Building, 999 Pine Ave.;
• Gasification plant, 326 S. Main St., Warren;
• Niles General Electric, 403 Main Street, Niles;
• Trumbull Industries, 400 Dietz Road, Warren;
• The former RG Steel BDM site, which is industrial land subject to an environmental risk audit.
Sam Miller, vice president of Trumbull Industries, said the grant will help the company with a plan to clean up and restore its Dietz Road facility.
“This will help us fund building improvements and retain jobs,” said Miller. “The first phase of the grant will allow us to determine the extent of corrective action that may be required. We don’t anticipate it will take a lot.
The company also plans to install a new roof and improve its manufacturing operations.
Trumbull Industries has about 300 employees, about half of whom work at the Dietz Road site. It manufactures kitchen and bathroom countertops.
“It will help us to remain a local industry”, said Miller.
Like the brownfields remediation grant, the land reserve was to identify properties it believed should be demolished as part of the building demolition and site revitalization program.
Carvin said land bank officials have contacted cities, towns and townships across the county to develop a list of sites that need to be razed.
Both grants require a 25% local contribution.
“We have secured matching commitments from the private landowners we work with under the Brownfields Remediation Program,” Carvin said. “In addition, the City of Warren and Trumbull County Board of Commissioners have committed funding for the required game under each program, and we are in conversation with local leaders to determine their ability to offer a commitment of match for demolitions in their respective communities. ”
As for the 30 commercial properties that will be demolished, out of 200 identified: “We are working with local communities to identify the properties most in need of demolition in their respective areas,” Carvin said.
Some of these commercial properties are the former Warren Community Development Building, 418 Main; the former Trumbull County-owned Wean Building, 347 N. Park Ave.; and the 4-H Building on the Trumbull County Fairgrounds.
Trumbull County commissioners last week approved the demolition of the Wean and 4-H buildings.