MANSFIELD -- The Richland County Land Bank is considering the cleanup of another former Mansfield dry cleaners.
This abandoned shop, located at 211 Glessner Ave., would be the second dry cleaners the land bank considers cleaning up this year.
Earlier this summer, land bank manager Amy Hamrick announced the organization received a $411,000 environmental cleanup grant for Swan Cleaners, a dry cleaners at 165 Park Avenue West that went out of business in 2014. The funds will be used to clean-up any contamination and clear the building of asbestos, so that it can become part of the proposed Imagination District.
On July 24, the land bank board authorized Hamrick to apply for an assessment grant through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 211 Glessner Ave., which had the same owners as Swan Cleaners. The potential funding could help the land bank assess the severity of contamination at the property.
Dry cleaners, Hamrick explained, pose a significant environmental risk, as its operators could have poured chemicals down drains or out windows or doors.
"We have to test it to see what’s there. Then, we go from there," Hamrick said.
Her hope is the contamination will be contained well enough that the land bank could take ownership of the property and find enough additional funding to eliminate it.
"I think the building is in good enough condition it can be saved," she said. "But the longer we let it sit the further it’ll go downhill."
She already had several possible end-users in mind for the property, but without cleaning up the contamination, it is "too substantial of a risk" for most potential buyers.
The next assessment grant application process opens in October.
"But if there’s money left over from last year, we might try to get it sooner," Hamrick said. "It depends on when the funds will be available."