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WARREN Mayor: Cleanup cost at plant site is worth it



Published: Wed, January 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A mystery friend would help the city with the project.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The cost of cleaning up the former Mahoningside Power Plant site on Summit Street could total $3 million.

Still, Mayor Hank Angelo says, it's worth the money to get rid of the dangerous eyesore that's been a thorn in the city's side for nearly 40 years.

PCBs, which are suspected cancer-causing agents, have been reduced at the site to a level acceptable to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

What's left to do: Remaining work at the site includes filling the basement with soil containing asbestos, encapsulating it in the basement, tearing down structures and grading and seeding the property.

The project should be wrapped up by summer, barring any major problems, officials say.

Dave Robison, city director of engineering, told council's finance committee Tuesday that the rest of the work is expected to cost $571,000, but something unforeseen could raise that.

The city has about $862,000 in state and federal grants available to finish the cleanup.

Robison said a private concern is interested in "partnering" with the city on the project.

However, neither he nor the mayor would identify the private concern or tell council what they meant by partnering.

Robison did say the private entity's participation could mean the Ohio Department of Development would contribute an additional $100,000 for the cleanup.

When project began: The city began cleanup in March 1999 when two smokestacks were razed. The property, which sits on a 5-acre site along the Mahoning River, sat vacant for many years.

The EPA took over management of the site when the discovery of contaminants complicated cleanup efforts.

Angelo said the city's main concern has been to rid the town of the eyesore that's also become a danger and a liability.

Plans for site: Redevelopment plans could include commercial structures or a tie-in to the city's nearby Riverwalk project, which will include paths, an outdoor amphitheater and festival grounds.

"[The cleanup] is the biggest project the city's ever undertaken," said Councilman Bob Marchese, D-at-large. "No one was going to do it."

Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd, said people have complained for years about the site.

"It was a nightmare on Summit Street."

davis@vindy.com




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