Former tile plant property ready for redevelopment

Published 9:48 am Friday, June 22, 2012



COAL GROVE — More than 6,700 tons of contaminated soil were removed from the former Carlyle Tile Plant property in Coal Grove since cleanup efforts began in 2006.

Email newsletter signup

About 700 cubic yards of asbestos-containing materials were removed from buildings on the site before demolition of the structures.

Now, six years later, Ohio EPA says the 33-acre property on Pike Street is officially ready for redevelopment.

Through the EPA’s Voluntary Action Program, the Village of Coal Grove hired a certified environmental professional to assess the site, identify any areas of concern and remediate any contamination on the property to a level that allows for commercial and industrial redevelopment and unrestricted ground water use. The village received $750,000 in Clean Ohio grants in 2006 to remediate the property and demolish structures at the site.

“We applaud the (Coal Grove) mayor and council for getting involved in this,” said Dr. Bill Dingus, director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp.

Dingus said that since river frontage sites are in low supply, the piece of land that was once an “eyesore at our front door when people came across the Ashland Bridge” is “extremely valuable” for the county.

The land is also valuable, Dingus said, because of the EPA’s covenant not to sue.

A covenant not to sue protects the property’s owners or operators and future owners from being legally responsible to the State of Ohio for further environmental investigation and remediation.

McGinnis Inc., owns the land and the company’s president, Rick Griffith, said there have been talks in the past few years on how to develop the area, but nothing has materialized.

“There is a lot of stuff I’d like to see there,” Griffith said, noting bad economic times have made it difficult to develop the land.

“We’ve talked to some people about a biodiesel plant, but that’s probably not going to happen,” he said. “Other than that, we haven’t really talked to anybody recently.”

Dingus said business manufacturing that would depend on river or rail transportation would fit well on the property. Logistics would also bring high-paying jobs to the county, which is the LEDC’s goal, Dingus said.

“Our success only comes when we bring jobs to Lawrence County,” he said.

A stamp of approval from the EPA may also spark interest in the property, Dingus noted.

“Until you get the official stamped report from the EPA, everyone is always cautious in aggressively marketing something,” Dingus said.

Concrete floors were also left behind after demolition, which would be a “significant savings for new businesses,” Dingus said.

The former tile plant manufactured bricks on the site from the late 1800s through 1935. Between 1935 and 1978, the property was used by the company to manufacture quarry tile. In the early 1980s, a coal-loading facility was located on a portion of the property, followed by an asphalt plant from 1989-1992.