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Former ITT site receives all clear from EPA

A former manufacturing site on the city’s south side could be redeveloped after being given clearance by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The owner of the former ITT Jabsco property, 501 W. Liberty St., has received a covenant not to sue after an environmental investigation through the Ohio EPA’s Voluntary Action Program. The covenant protects the the property’s owners and future owners from being legally responsible to the state for further environmental remediation.

The former manufacturing site is owned by Buck Storage Inc., which was represented by late Springfield businessman Harry Denune, according to court records. The covenant will allow the owners to move forward with listing the property.

“We’re very pleased with the decision,” said Audrey Bullard, an officer with Buck Storage, Inc.

The covenant was issued to Xylem, Inc., a water technology provider that treats and tests water for its clients for use in residential, commercial and industrial locations.

The 3.28-acre site is valued at approximately $413,260, according to auditor’s records.

“It’s always welcome news to us,” said Josh Rauch, the city’s deputy economic development administrator. “(The covenant) is often the last barrier in giving developers the go ahead. We’re glad that that’s happened and hopefully its one last obstacle to getting the site redeveloped.”

The investigation was designed to address any areas of environmental concern. The land met the standards with restricted ground water use set by the voluntary action program, meaning no remedial actions were needed, according to an Ohio EPA press release.

Recently, a piece of the site was planned to be developed into a Dollar General store on the corner of West Liberty and South Yellow Springs streets. The plans were approved by the city planning board last June. However, developers found possibly contaminated soil at the site and decided to move in a different direction with the project, according to Jeffrey Paulson, an engineer at Hurley and Stewart of Kalamazoo, Mich.

“It was going to be too costly to move forward with the remediation,” Paulson said.

Developers chose to move the Dollar General location to a new site, 1640 S. Yellow Springs St., which is expected to open this fall, according to Paulson.

Buck Storage was disappointed by Dollar General’s decision to move elsewhere, Bullard said, and will be listing the site soon.

“We do plan to put it up for sale,” Bullard said.

The site was purchased by ITT Jabsco in 1980, where it produced marine pumps until 2000. It sat vacant until 2005, when it was purchased by Buck Storage for $75,000, according to auditor’s records.

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