- Associated Press - Saturday, May 31, 2014

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - A cleanup is nearing an end at a former foundry that once was Wayne County’s largest employer, paving the way for Richmond to market the property to potential buyers.

The county acquired the 44-acre property on Richmond’s northwest side after Dana declared bankruptcy and stopped paying property taxes. It went unsold through a county tax sale in October 2008, and the city took over ownership in 2009 at the request of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.

IDEM officials agreed to pay for testing and cleanup of the site. That process is about three weeks from completion.

“It has been a very good project,” Tony Foster, the city’s director of metropolitan development, told the Palladium-Item (http://pinews.co/1rk8Bxv ). “Both the contractor and the subcontractor have come in and taken care of things a lot quicker than we expected.”

Proceeds from the sale of the property will be split between the city and county to cover the $28,000 in unpaid taxes that Dana Corp. owes.

Consultant Stephen Zins of Indianapolis-based AMEC said crews found very little contamination at the site and said the work “was basically a demolition project.”

“Most of it was just taking down the building and cleaning up the piles of rubble all around the yard,” Zins said.

The cleanup project is costing $395,453. Zins said IDEM is paying his firm directly with money through a settlement with the Dana Trust Fund.

Foster said the city has received “considerable” interest in the property.

“It has an active rail spur in the rear of the property, so there has been a lot of interest,” Foster said. “We want to sell this property. We do not want to own it. We want it back on the tax rolls.”

About 1,000 jobs were lost when Dana closed its Richmond camshaft plant in 1987. Another 200 jobs were lost when it closed the foundry a decade ago.

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Information from: Palladium-Item, http://www.pal-item.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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