Last Updated: March 7, 2016
One of the most frequent questions I get is "what is happening with the Sunoco on N Cassady?" This is a complicated issue, given the multiple owners of the property over the past decade, as well as the lack of a viable responsible party for the contamination that is on the site. The City is committed to helping to facilitate the cleanup of this site so that it is a viable property that is able to be developed.
In 1993 and 1998 there were document fuel leaks from the underground storage tanks at the former Sunoco station at Cassady and Ruhl. The Sunoco closed in 2006, but the contamination that had occured prior to that date had not been cleaned up. In 2009, the underground storage tanks were removed, but the site was still not cleaned. During this time the State of Ohio was pursuing the property owner at the time of the contamination in order to force cleanup of the site. The State's actions were unsuccessful, and the party responsible for the contamination was found to be incapable of paying for cleanup.
The City applied for funding in 2009 from the Governor's Stimulus Fund to facilitate cleanup, but was unsuccessful.
In 2012, the City began looking for options to assist the property owner with cleaning the site. The City applied for an assessment grant from the Ohio EPA, which it received in 2013. Assesment began in 2013 and continued in 2014 through multiple tiers of assesment with the EPA. The assesment confirmed widespread contamination of the site, including contamination that continued to the south of the site under Ruhl and impacted a residential property to the south. The property owner at the time was unable to afford any cleanup of the site, and the site sold to a new owner in 2015. The new owner has experience with impacted properties and is working closely with the City to complete the processes necessary to be able to develop the site with a new use.
In 2015, the City began talking to the State of Ohio, which had announced a new Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant. The new grant was intended for properties just like the one at Ruhl and Cassady. This grant program is vastly superior to earlier programs, in that it provides full funding for cleanup. The application for this grant became available in early 2016, and the City is due to apply for the grant by the Spring, 2016 deadline. The recent assesment work with the Ohio EPA is making the process of application relatively simple, given the volumes of data recently collected regarding the site. If successful, the grant should allow for the full cleanup of the site and surrounding impacted areas.
Future of the Property:
If successful in obtaining the cleanup grant, the property should be cleaned in 2016. The site is no longer zoned for a fuel station or convenience store. This property is zoned Mixed Use Commercial, and the current owner is examining a variety of business concepts that have been proposed for the site.