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Clean Ohio funds help pave way

It is official: The site of a longtime eyesore along U.S. 52 near Coal Grove is now ready to again be a key developable piece of land.

More than six years after the project at the former Carlyle Tile site began the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has officially said the property is cleaned up and ready to build on.

This is positive news because riverfront property with strong rail and highway access is an extremely valuable commodity. This 33-acre site could one day be home to industrial — or even commercial — businesses that could create many jobs for our region.

The plant manufactured bricks or tile on the site from the late 1800s through the late 1970s. In the early 1980s, a coal-loading facility was located on a portion of the property, followed by an asphalt plant for a few years.

McGinnis, Inc., the owner of the property, has looked at a variety of options over the years. Hopefully this will allow some sort of project to move forward that will create jobs, inject life into the economy yet still create an aesthetic entrance to Lawrence County.

Anyone who doubts the value of the state’s Clean Ohio program only needs to look at old photographs of what the site looked like before and compare that with what it looks now. This is money well spent.

It is ironic that getting this former brick manufacturing site positioned for redevelopment should pave the way for it to be a strong building block for Lawrence County’s future.