Jefferson County Port Authority looks to remediate former gas station property
STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County Port Authority will issue a request for quotes for a contractor for remediation of the former gas station property at the south end of town.
At a special meeting Thursday, the port’s board of directors also formally accepted a state grant of up to $340,000 to cover remaining remediation costs — that’s in addition to the $250,000 in grant money that’s already been spent removing 10 underground tanks, eight more than they’d expected to find on the property, located South Third Street across from the former Hanna Chevrolet.
“The whole thing’s been a nightmare,” Chairman Greg Nemeth said. “But we’re on the downhill slide now, we just need to get it completed and off the table.”
Board members discussed at length whether the RFQ would be needed, eventually deciding it would be prudent to seek bids to avoid problems “down the road” should questions arise. Once the quotes are received they’ll be reviewed and ranked, with a decision expected at the board’s August meeting.
“I can honestly say Civil and Environmental Consultants did a pretty good job, in my opinion, of managing this project (so far),” board member Jay Zatta said. “They made periodic visits here…to keep us advised of the status of the project, and did keep us within grant guidelines. Unfortunately — and we knew it was a possibility — there were more tanks on the property.”
Nemeth said he’s relieved “all the tanks have been removed.”
“Now we’re into the remediation round,” he said. “There were more tanks in a wider area, so the scope of the contract grew because of what we found in Phase I. So that (initial) $250,000 was spent…but now we anticipate” the second grant will “finish the wider, broader area.”
“That makes me feel better, that we’re getting closer to to the point where we’re able to walk away with a ‘No further action needed’ letter. We already have the tanks out, we’ve just got to complete the remediation on what is left there.”
Ohio Motor Group was unaware of the existence of the tanks when it purchased the property, and nobody originally associated with the tanks could be found, making it eligible for state abandoned gas station cleanup funding.