CORRIDOR OF OPPORTUNITY Valley officials prioritize list, go over progress

Environmental analysis and remediation of an 8-acre Campbell site is done.
STRUTHERS -- Building roads and securing funds for more environmental assessment and cleanup top the Mahoning River Corridor of Opportunity's list of priorities, now that construction of the Walton Avenue bridge is imminent.
A day after a ceremonial groundbreaking for the $4 million bridge, which will provide access to a 325-acre brownfield along the Mahoning River in Campbell and Youngstown, Struthers Mayor Dan Mamula, who is chairman of the Mahoning River Corridor of Opportunity, and other committee members took stock of their progress so far and prioritized goals to be addressed next.
Jim Smith, president of Brownfield Restoration Group, Akron, told his fellow MRCO committee members during the meeting Wednesday that work will begin on a Phase II environmental evaluation of 80 acres on the west side of the CASTLO Industrial Park by November.
Awaiting approval
The quality assurance plan for the project is in the process of being approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he said. Once that is in place, work will begin.
The project will include a study of the possible environmental impact to Yellow Creek and the Mahoning River as well as analyze subsurface tar near one of the buildings. It is funded by a $171,000 Brownfields Assessment Grant to Mahoning County awarded last year.
Environmental analysis and remediation of an 8-acre site off Wilson Avenue in Campbell, formerly Finishing Corp. of America, has been completed, Smith continued. Work was provided through a $65,400 Clean Ohio assistance grant awarded Campbell in 2002.
Confirmation sampling is under way, and a contractor is ready to start work in mid-October to remove contaminants from a 40-acre site in CASTLO, formerly a materials yard, Smith said. That was made possible by a $201,091 Clean Ohio Round II grant through the Mahoning County Special Projects office late last year.
Planning to seek grant
After compiling data over the next six weeks from a Phase II environmental analysis of a 47-acre site in Struthers, formerly Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube Co.'s coke plant, Struthers will apply for a Clean Ohio grant to facilitate cleanup, Smith said.
The deadline to submit applications for the next round of U.S. EPA brownfield grants is Nov. 12 with awards to be announced in the spring.
Committee members are also exploring possible sources of funding for construction of roads inside Campbell's section of the 1,400-acre brownfield, extension of Bob Cene Way which leads into the brownfield from Struthers, improving access from the MRCO to Interstate 680 with an alternative interchange at Shirley Road/Dewey Avenue, and improving access from the MRCO to U.S. Route 224 by rebuilding Arrel-Smith Road between Lowellville and Struthers roads.
The MRCO planning committee meets about once a quarter.

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