Trumbull Land Bank Gets $918K Grant for ‘Post-Apocalyptic’ Site

WARREN, Ohio – A $918,685 federal grant will help put the former Diversified Refractories site back into productive use in about two years, a Trumbull County Land Bank official said.

The grant to Trumbull County Land Reutilization Corp. to clean the more than 28-acre brownfield site, 400 Refractories Drive NW, was one of three for northeastern Ohio projects that received a total $1.92 million in Multipurpose, Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup – or MARC – grants funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced the grant funds in a news release Thursday afternoon.   

Having the cleanup done by summer 2025 is the target, Lisa Ramsey, deputy director of Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, said. The land bank, which TNP administers, should have the official grant agreements in the fall and will have to secure a specialized contractor to do the cleanup work, which should take 12 to 18 months.

The grant represents “a really exciting opportunity for Trumbull County,” said Shawn Carvin, who worked on the application when he was director of the Trumbull land bank. He was hired as executive director of Ohio Land Bank earlier this year.

“This property has been a longtime issue in the community and still holds a lot of environmental hazards. Being able to address that’s really, really great,” he said. Contaminants at the site include some 2,400 50-gallon drums of swarf, a byproduct of precision metal cutting made up of metal shavings and lubricant.

“It’s almost post-apocalyptic,” Ramsey remarked. “It’s full of barrels and piles of just different materials and whatnot, and it needs cleaned up pretty severely.”

Carvin pointed out the grants were “very competitive.”   

“By investing in and redeveloping these brownfield sites, we create new opportunities for growth for communities across Ohio,” Brown said in the news release announcing the grants. “Thanks in part to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this investment will support revitalization efforts critical to the safety and economic success of these communities.”

The remediation is “the first step” to being able to redevelop the site, Carvin said. Phase I and Phase II assessments already have been performed at the site. Though there might be “slight changes” in costs based on inflation, the grant should cover the entirety of the cleanup.

“Once it’s done, then the property would be available for future use,” he said.

TNP will work with township officials to find a suitable end user for the property, Ramsey said. The property is zoned industrial and situated just off the state Route 82/Route 5 bypass at state Route 45, tucked into a nonresidential area.

“It’s a great location,” she said. “It’s pretty-well-suited to something manufacturing or light industrial.”

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