The city of Findlay has taken over the cleanup of a 28-acre scrap tire dump near the city's downtown and hopes to clear the space by the end of the year.
The site, formerly owned by a tire recycling company called Brandman Corp., contains an estimated 750,000 whole and shredded tires, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Ohio EPA took Jerry Vestal, the head of Brandman Corp., to court in 2001 to force a cleanup of the dump.
Last November, Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Reginald Routson fined Mr. Vestal $503,552 for various violations of state solid waste and scrap tire statutes.
However, Judge Routson suspended all but $10,000 of the fine on condition that Mr. Vestal would sell the dump to the city for $1. Mr. Vestal and Findlay Mayor Tony Iriti inked the deal May 6.
Soon the city will submit a timetable to the Ohio EPA for cleanup, which the Ohio EPA will approve in an official order, an Ohio EPA spokeswoman said. The city has contracted with Liberty Tire Services to begin removal of the approximately 140,000 whole tires at the site, according to Mr. Iriti.
As for the shredded tires, the Hancock County landfill will take them to line a new cell, he said.
Once the space is cleared, the city will begin implementing ambitious plans for the site, according to Mr. Iriti.
The Findlay-Hancock County Public Library System has chosen the site for a new library that will be twice the size of the current facility.
A 20,000-sq.-ft. professional office building also is planned for the site, as well as a gathering place for concerts and festivals, Mr. Iriti said.