Johnson Promotes Opportunities at Campbell Brownfield Site

CAMPBELL, Ohio – U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson pledged to work to secure federal funds to help bring industrial property in Campbell back into productive use during a visit Tuesday to the former LTV Steel property.

Johnson, of Marietta, R-6th, joined city officials during a press availability on Industrial Road to discuss efforts to bring congressionally directed community investment program funds to help with those efforts. In April, the congressman submitted a funding request for $800,000 to assist with remediation and redevelopment of 46 acres of brownfields there.  

“We’ve got these kinds of situations all over the country where they need to be cleaned up,” Johnson said. The request is “in the hands of the appropriators in Washington, D.C.,” he said.   

Campbell controls 10 acres on the south side of Industrial Road, and Sherman International in Pittsburgh owns 37 acres on the north side of the road, Mayor Bryan Tedesco said. Two companies – one in information technology, which would potentially employ 60 workers, and another in manufacturing – are looking at splitting the city-owned property, he said.

Based on previous studies of the area, most of the current contamination is oil-based contaminants from oil lagoons or the equipment that operated at LTV Steel, Chris Tolnar, project manager for GPD Group in Youngstown, said. Those contaminants can be addressed either by capping them or digging them out and hauling them away.

“There’s a couple hot spots,” he said.

Johnson’s request for the cleanup funds will be competing with projects from across the country, he acknowledged, but he said he was “hopeful” about the funding.

Funding needs are among the biggest challenges facing Campbell, but there isn’t much that can’t be solved by bringing business into the city and increasing its tax base, Johnson said.

“If we can be of any help in doing that, that’s what we want to do,” he said.

Tolnar, who also acts as Campbell’s city manager, pointed out that unlike other local communities where rail line runs directly alongside the Mahoning River, in Campbell it runs outside, so property in the city has direct access to the river.

While industrial business could be developed on the land further away from the Mahoning River, Tedesco said he would like to see shops and other small businesses along the riverfront.

“A container park would be great down there,” he remarked.

Johnson called the river a “great resource” to develop wellness, recreational and business opportunities.

“You’ve seen cities all over the country revitalize by doing that kind of thing,” he said. “It’s a very underutilized resource, and we’d like to see that turn around.”

Pictured at top: From left, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson; Chris Tolnar, project manager for GPD Group; and Campbell Mayor Bryan Tedesco.

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