Niles seeks grant for cleanup

NILES – City Council on Wednesday authorized administrators to apply to participate in the Clean Ohio Brownfields Program on behalf of BRT Extrusions, the owner of the former Republic Steel property.

The Niles-based firm wants to clean up and redevelop the property at 1818 N. Main St. for expansion of its business operation.

Niles Engineering Grant and Development Coordinator Mark Hess said that Wednesday’s resolution was the first step in a process that will eventually result in the creation of 15 to 20 new jobs.

“The city received a letter of summary assistance from Ohio Development Services Agency that they had set aside $634,680 for cleanup of the site,” Hess said. “The issue was that the city has to be the applicant for the grant, so we’re going to continue the process in order to get (the grant) approved and get the money to BRT.”

The property is made up of 11 parcels totaling 26.06 acres northwest of downtown. In 2012, the city teamed up with BRT for an environment assessment, which determined the property’s environmental suitability and possible need for remediation. The assessment included the installation of 112 soil borings, 49 shallow groundwater monitoring wells and three deep groundwater monitoring wells.

“This money is there (from the ODSA) for BRT to clean that property up,” Hess said of the company’s plans to go forward with development of the site.

The city and property owner, BR Property Group, are in the process of redeveloping the property to assist with the expansion of BRT Extrusions. The project is expected to create 20 jobs.

Calls to BRT Extrusions for comment were not returned.

The Clean Ohio Assistance Fund supports brownfield redevelopment in Ohio’s urban areas, and is administered by the Office of Redevelopment, which is housed within the Ohio Department of Development’s Community Services Division.