Brownfield Grant projects moving to second phase


Multiple aspects of the Brownfield Grant projects are moving forward with the next phases of their schedule, according to Matt Wagner, a certified professional from Tetra Tech, at the monthly Thursday morning meeting of the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank).

Wagner said that prior to arriving at the meeting he was at the East Monroe Mill to check it out because they started drilling there to look for contamination. He said they were hoping they wouldn’t find anything.

Wagner said all the Phase 1 projects — The Elliott Hotel in Greenfield, the former Rocky Fork Truck Stop and the East Monroe Mill — are either finished or in the process of being completed. He said the Phase 2 drilling is scheduled next for the gas station, with the mill scheduled for this week.

He also said they are going to apply for a cleanup grant for both the mill and the truck stop.

Mackenzie Edison, the land bank coordinator, said the deadline to submit round two projects for the Brownfield grant was extended from April 30, 2022 to May 31, 2022.

Wagner said after that second round of funding, the third round of funding would be opened on July 1, 2022. He said they anticipate there to be about $100 million that will still be available for that round. However, he said that that round would require a 25-percent match on those funds in some way, whether it’s through a method like a two-year rollback, a straight cash infusion in whatever work needs to be performed, or something like that.

“Just because we’re gonna be done here with these applications in round two doesn’t mean that the county should take the foot off the gas on potential other projects within the county that could ultimately benefit from this program,” Wagner said.

Julie Bolender, Highland County Economic Development director, said she thinks they have already started the process of identifying projects they might look at for the third round of funding. She said they’ve identified “quite a few” other spots that would be good fits.

In other news, Wagner said he talked Lydia Mihalik, the director of development for the Ohio Department of Development, who said they were hoping to have this on the annual budget so Brownfield funding could continue in the future.

“So that’s really exciting as we’re building this momentum and as Julie and Mackenzie are starting to see more opportunities come into the county, that we may have this funding mechanism to address it,” Wagner said.

In other news, Edison said the land bank was preparing bid packets for contractors interested in working on the Demolition and Site Revitalization Grant on properties submitted. She said once they learn about the properties awarded for that grant those packets will be made available.

In miscellaneous news, Edison said two Cinderella Drive parcels have been sold. She also said the land bank hired field maintenance that will be cleaning up a property on Wizard of Oz Way.

Concerning the Enchanted Hills set of parcels, she said there is a title search being run on them. Edison said the land bank is aware of a lien on those properties and that after the title search is finished, if that’s the only lien, they would contact the lien holder to see what they could do to remedy it.

The next meeting of the land bank will happen on Thursday, June 16 at 9 a.m.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

Matt Wagner, a certified professional from Tetra Tech, details aspects of the Brownfield Grant project. Wagner, a certified professional from Tetra Tech, details aspects of the Brownfield Grant project. Jacob Clary | The Times-Gazette
Drilling has started at East Monroe Mill

By Jacob Clary

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