Brownfield discussed at commission meeting

STEUBENVILLE – Urban Projects Director Chris Petrossi said Monday night the former RG Steel Steubenville plant site “is drawing quite a bit of interest as far as future development.”

Petrossi told the city planning and zoning commission the city, state and River Rail Development is trying to expedite the cleanup and demolition of two blast furnaces, a boiler house and a former annealing building so plans to develop an industrial park on the 130-acre site can move forward.

“We are all hoping to get the demolition work completed as soon as possible so we can apply for additional funds. The grant contracts have been received and are now being circulated for signatures,” Petrossi said.

He also noted there is strong interest in the former Weirton Steel Steubenville plant site located north of the River Rail Development property.

The Ohio Office of Budget and Management Controlling Board last week approved the release of $1 million in Clean Ohio Assistance funds for asbestos abatement and the demolition of two blast furnaces, a boiler house and an annealing building at the former RG Steel Steubenville plant.

“This is definitely good news for our area,” said Planning Commission Chairman William Hendricks.

Petrossi said last week the property will be redeveloped with a multimodal transfer and processing facility to support midstream shale gas operations.

“The facility should be under construction this summer and operational by the fourth quarter of 2014,” said Petrossi.

“This is a huge site with lots of economic development potential. It has two railroad lines, the highway and access to the Ohio River. This $1 million investment will help get the site ready for development. The Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission did a lot of work on the asbestos remediation study that made this possible. And River Rail Development has made a substantial investment in the property and has plans for the future that will benefit the city,” he added.

“Redevelopment of the overall River Rail property is expected to generate approximately 50 new jobs. Additional jobs are expected as the property is redeveloped and leased. Property redevelopment also is expected to generate income and property tax benefits for the city as well,” said Petrossi.

In other business Monday night, the planning commission held a public hearing on the 2013 Community Housing Improvement Program funds.

“We plan to use $227,500 for the rehabilitation of six structures and the remaining $22,500 for administration of the program. The qualifying applicants will be the owners of single-family owner occupied structures that are in need of assistance to meet local code compliance and rehabilitation standards,” explained Petrossi.

Petrossi announced bids now are being accepted for demolition of structures at 634 Prospect Ave., 653 Prospect Ave., 628 Lincoln Ave. Rear, 215 N. Ninth St., 226-228 N. Ninth St., 233 N. Ninth St., 264 N. Ninth St., 516 Wilkins St., 539 Linden Ave., 1426 Euclid Ave., 711 Pine St., 249 N. Eighth St. and 624 Grandview Ave.

The demolition bids are due at 3 p.m. on April 16.

According to Petrossi, bids for a lighting project at Belleview Park will be opened at noon on April 26.

Petrossi also told the planning commission members Lash Paving & Ecavating of Colerain submitted the low bid of $396,405.40 for the 2013 Community Development Block Grant street improvement program.

“The two submitted bids will be reviewed by the city engineer and city manager and will be awarded at the April 9 City Council meeting,” Petrossi said.

The CDBG street paving project includes Oak Grove Avenue from Pittsburgh Street to the west terminus, Darlington Road from Oakland Way to his north terminus, Edgewood Place, Superior Street from Edgewood Place to North Seventh Street, Maple Way from Darlington Road to Edgewood Place, Highland Avenue from North Street to its north terminus and Dock Street from Highland Avenue to North Seventh Street.