By SEAN RICE
The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) recently approved
a grant to pay for investigating whether the former Mersman
Furniture Company property has hazardous contaminants.
Brickyard Investments, a spin-off of Rockford Construction Services
(RCS), owns the Wayne Street facility and is executing plans
to transform the old table factory into a small business incubator.
Several areas of the property are already being used by businesses
and the current environmental investigation process underway
will clear the way for total redevelopment of the property,
Brickyard Investments controller Craig Valentine said this morning.
Valentine stressed that no contaminants have been found on the
site, and none are expected to be found.
“It’s not that we’re expecting to find anything,
but this is something we need to do,” Valentine said,
adding that Brickyard is following a state voluntary action
The $296,000 grant for a Phase II assessment comes from the
Clean Ohio Assistance Fund and is expected to cover 100 percent
of the cost of the assessment. The process includes drilling
for soil samples and ground water quality tests.
The assessment is part of ODOD’s brownfield redevelopment
program. Phase I of the program entailed paperwork on the history
of the site and possible contaminants. The $8,000 cost was paid
for by Brickyard Investments.
Phase III, if needed, would involve actually cleaning the site,
and state money is available through a Clean Ohio Brownfield
The current occupants of the facility include SOURCES community
network services, Plastic Recycling Technology, Grand Lake Transit,
M & K Tool and Die and R K Fencing. Valentine said there
is much more space left in the buildings.
“We want to create an environment for small, start-up
businesses,” he said.
“I think this is an exciting time for the city, because
the RCS building is an asset to Celina, and this redevelopment
will make it even more of an asset,” Celina Community
Development Director Sue Canary said Tuesday, when the news
was released by the state.
Valentine said he expects to receive formal paperwork on the
award in mid-February and work will start as soon as possible.