City eyes grant worth #036;3 million to clean up site

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The City of Ironton may be getting closer to getting grant money to clean up the old Intermet/Ironton Iron site.

Phase I, the visual inspection, and Phase II, taking core samples to find if there are environmental hazards, are completed and the city has applied up to $3 million in grant money to clean up the site and make it usable for commercial properties.

“We will hear later on in the month. We hope to be a successful awardee of the grant,” said Mayor John Elam. “I would like to see it cleared up to commercial standards.”

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In December, SRW Environmental Services, Inc. took core samples from the ground in an effort to determine if there are any contaminants on the property. Last year, SRW President Mark Rhinehart told city council that there was some damage to the site but there was nothing in the information provided by Intermet that gave his company any reason to think the project could not move forward.

Elam said a couple of hot spots were found but the report “came back relatively clean.”

“We are very excited about having 25 acres with a rail spur for development within the city of Ironton,”

Elam has said if the long-time industrial site is cleaned up and purchased by the city for a symbolic $1, the approximate 25 acres of land on South Third Street would be used for economic development either with a factory or retail stores.

“That is prime commercial development property, it will be cleaned to commercial standards,” Elam said, adding he would like to be get in contract with a development firm or developer to assist in turning the land into a commercial site that would do well in a city the size of Ironton.

The site was a foundry for more than 100 years and operated under the names of Dayton Malleable and Ironton Iron to produce automotive casings. The last owner was Intermet Corp., which purchased the foundry in 1988 and closed it in 2000 after suppliers went overseas to get their products.

The city has been trying to get the property cleaned up for three years. The city was once close to obtaining the property, but Intermet filed for bankruptcy.