COLUMBUS — Friday, June 17, as part of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, the Ohio Department of Development announced it is awarding $192 million for projects impacting 41 Ohio counties — including Preble County.
“These properties are vital spaces in our communities, ones that are not only being wasted in their current capacity, but oftentimes are a danger to their local communities,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Today, we’re reclaiming these spaces for the future of our residents, businesses, and communities.”
The $192 million in grant awards includes approximately $187.8 million for 79 clean-up projects and $4.5 million for 33 assessment projects. These grants are in addition to the $60 million in Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program grants awarded in April. An additional $98 million in funds will be awarded in the coming months.
“This is revitalization at its finest,” said Lt. Governor John Husted. “These investments in cleaning up brownfields take blighted properties and turn them into parks, housing, or economic development sites that improve the quality of life for everyone in the local community.”
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.
“These funds are significant investments in the future of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By cleaning up these hazardous sites, we’re creating new opportunities for economic growth that will benefit businesses and residents for years to come.”
Preble County Commissioners will receive $153,437 for cleanup efforts at the former Hines Truck Stop located on the southeast corner of U.S. 40 and U.S. 127. According to officials, records indicate this property was developed as a truck refueling station prior to 1952 with operations possibly extending back to the late 1920s. Fueling operations ceased in 1990, and the site has been vacant since and has fallen into severe disrepair. An environmental assessment is needed to determine if there are any contaminants or petroleum leaks from the gas station. After assessment and needed remediation, the current building will be demolished, and the site will be prepared for redevelopment.