Percs And Perks

The 3-12-13 Newark Advocate reports that the Newark Council’s Finance Committee will be forwarding a request to spend $500,000 to clean up the former Quality Chemical site on South 21st St. That money will be provided through a Jobs Ready Site Fund grant. The Jobs Ready Site Fund was instituted under the Ohio Revised Code in 2006 and is not to be confused with the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (aka the Stimulus). A “Current Brownfield Project Update” for the Economic Development Committee of the Newark City Council (12-13-10) showed the former Quality Chemical site to be at 217 south 21st St. It listed the presence within the ground, groundwater and concrete of Tetrachloroethane, trichloroethylene (variants of “Dry cleaning fluid” or Percs), and Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB’s) at low levels. Exposure to these is considered hazardous, whether as windborn dust, water run off or accumulated vapor. The cost of that assessment was just shy of $119,000 (paid for by the Clean Ohio Assistance Fund).  It shows the history of the property use being that of auto repair in the 1960’s, followed by janitorial supply/chemical storage from 1970 to 1996 when it became Quality Chemical. The property changed ownership in 1980 and again in 1996. The property has not transferred ownership since. Auditor’s records don’t indicate owner occupant or landlord tenant in terms of ownership/use responsibility. Records also show a Small Business Administration loan made to the owner of Quality Chemical in 1996. In that year, the Republican led U.S. House of Representatives worked to eliminate the SBA which held a cabinet level position under the Clinton White House. The SBA provides government backed guarantees on the larger part of a loan in the event of default. Currently the property at 217 S. 21st St. is in foreclosure with the market value on the tax card being listed at just under $46,000 and showing close to $7,000 in unpaid taxes and penalties outstanding.

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