Truck stop demolition to start Feb. 27

Demolition of the Rocky Fork Truck Stop will begin on Feb. 27, according to Matt Wagner, certified professional at Tetra Tech, at Thursday’s meeting of the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank).

Wagner said the first order of business will be the removal of the underground storage tank and demolition of the structure. He said that he anticipated it would take two to three weeks from start to finish for that stage of the project. He also said there could also be some additional work for the stage relating to the contaminated soil that could be addressed during the time of removal.

“I think it’s really good that we are in the position that we’re in to get started when we are,” Wagner said.

He said that this part of the process is only the first stage.

Wagner previously detailed the second phase, saying it would involved groundwater cleanup. He said an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant was received to do offsite work, which is where they would install monitoring wells on the adjacent property and to the north to see if the plume could be delineated. He also said they need to create a remedial action plan to treat the groundwater and figure out how to get it remedied, and to not dig up the entire site.”

In other Brownfield project news, Wagner said the bid specifications for the East Monroe Mill are currently under technical review. He said he was hoping to have it finished prior to Thursday’s meeting so they could be sent out for advertisement. Due to them not being finished, he said he anticipated the bids would be sent out for advertisement next week with them potentially being awarded in early March.

Wagner said one aspect of the mill that should be known is that there is someone using some of the land for food with a garden. He said the organization needs to time things up with that person to make sure they don’t affect their planting, and if they do, to be conscientious of it so maybe do the demolition sooner rather than later so that person has time to plant on the site.

Terry Britton, the board of commissioners president who is on the land bank board, said that when the bid packet for the East Monroe Mill is ready to be opened, the land bank should probably have a special meeting to keep the ball rolling.

Concerning the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Grant, Mackenzie Edison, land bank coordinator, said only five more of the properties need completely finished while only three more need demolished.

Regarding property updates, Edison said the land bank closed on a property at 6638 Wizard of Oz Way in Hillsboro for $7,000.

For 6774 Heath Moor Trail in the Rocky Fork area, she said there is an interested buyer who is looking to possibly go with the deed-in-escrow situation. She also said the interested buyer is “very anxious” to get the property cleaned up and buy it, with it planned to be sold for $7,200. The land bank board moved to allow the deed-in-escrow for the buyer.

Edison said that she put the property at 622 East South St. on Zillow. She said the property was one of the ones involved in the Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Grant that was already cleaned up.

For another parcel on S.R. 134 in Buford, Edison said the property owner of a “little shed” wants to donate it to the land bank. She also said the next-door neighbor is interested in purchasing it.

Todd Book, the land bank’s legal counsel, said that for 453 E. Main St. in Hillsboro, said the Ohio Attorney General approved the tax lien removal, meaning the lien is no longer on the property and it is able to be donated to the land bank.

Book also relayed information about the land bank’s involvement with the Elliott Hotel in Greenfield. He said the agreement has been finalized and everything is in order as far as the land bank is concerned. He said that one aspect of the agreement between the land bank and the village of Greenfield in the cost-sharing agreement is that it releases “all liability between the village and the land bank relating to the Memorandum of Understanding.”

Book said Greenfield’s legal counsel told him that the project had to be rebid, but that also might be “to their benefit to a degree.” He said the final cost of the demolition is a moving target, but for the land bank, it’s $50,000.

The next meeting of the land bank is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, March 16.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.