YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Two weeks ago the Ohio Senate passed tacit bill that could one day have a profound effect on some of the old manufacturing facilities in the Youngstown area.
Trees are now growing where people once worked in the old Republic Hose factory on Albert Street in Youngstown.
RG Steel once had its big mill behind the fence along Pine Avenue in Warren.
Both are among the 10,000 brownfield locations in Ohio that are former production properties that need to be cleaned and reused.
“We noticed a lot of confusion about brownfields. The state of Ohio doesn’t really have a strong game plan, ”said Michael Rulli, Senator from Youngstown.
To change the game plan, Rulli wants an overview of all the brownfield locations in Ohio.
“There is no standard. There is no procedure or list of requirements that you would put in this category, ”said Rulli.
His poll bill was passed by the Senate. It’s currently in the house, and Rulli said the governor appears to be okay with it.
“There really isn’t a lot of redevelopment funding,” said Julie Green of the Trumbull County Planning Commission, which deals with brownfields.
Green said one she would like to clean up is the old Copperweld site in Champion, and she will take any help she can get.
“They know you have more resources to clean up these sites and give companies new opportunities to get settled here,” said Green.
Once the survey is complete, Rulli plans to use excess alcohol tax dollars to pay for the cleanup. These can range from $ 28 to $ 67 million per year.
The municipalities then recommend three to five properties that they want to clean up.
“We estimate that with money already allocated for the alcohol tax, we can probably do between 20 and 50 projects a year,” said Rulli.
Rulli said he was all for Ohio beautification, but that’s not what these bills are for. He said they should clean up old industrial properties and make them usable for businesses to build on again.