The Canal Winchester Times

Cleanup begins at former Parker Marathon site

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After sitting vacant for years, the former Parker Marathon lot at 18 W. Waterloo St. in Canal Winchester is about to be given a face- lift.

Workers will remove and replace the soil as part of the environmental remediation and cleanup of the contaminated site, making the land once again habitable and ready for redevelopment.

Franklin County Treasurer Ed Leonard, along with Mayor Michael Ebert, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Aug. 12 to kick off the clean-up effort.

The property has been vacant since 1989 and remained in legal limbo and disrepair until 2007 when the county took control of it.

A dilapidated building on the site was demolished in 2008.

However, at the time, there were no funds available for the remediation and cleanup, so the property has remained empty since then.

In March, Canal Winchester City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the newly created Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp., which is funded through state grants and is able to assume ownership of delinquent properties such as this, then contract out the rehabilitation work.

County spokeswoman Lillian Williams Purkey said last week's groundbreaking is the next step in a long process of returning the land to productivity.

"The backhoes will be on-site to begin the removing of the gasoline tanks that remain underground at the vacant property, creating a productive land," Purkey said. "The COCIC serves as the county land bank and will put the land up for sale when it is ready for redevelopment."

The memorandum of understanding, as approved by council, gives Canal Winchester the first right of refusal for purchasing the property once the COCIC contractors complete the work.

Nearby Madison Township has used a similar agreement with the COCIC several times, including the recent demolition and remediation of an abandoned 55-unit apartment complex at 3232 Noe-Bixby Road.

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