ROCK CREEK — A property dominated by trailers filled with a variety of items, including thousands of Nerf balls is in the process of being cleared.
The Ashtabula County Port Authority received grants and used other finances to put together a package to have a gas station on the west side of Route 45 and a property, filled with trailers, on the east side of Route 45, to be cleared for potential use by the village or private investors and businesses, said ACPA Executive Director Mark Winchell. He said the goal is to transfer the property to the village or a private investor or business, but that will likely not occur for one to two years until all the cleanup guidelines have been completed.
The Port Authority took on the project as a bridge between private enterprise and government and worked with the Ashtabula County Land Bank and county officials to make the project a reality, Winchell said.
Bob Schultz, former mayor of Rock Creek and president of the Rock Creek Chamber of Commerce said the property, formerly owned by Wes Shinkle, has been dominated by trailers for more than 25 years. He said there were thousands of Nerf balls in some of the containers.
Schultz said when he was mayor, the village sued Shinkle to have the property cleared and won in the Ohio Supreme Court, but the next mayor did not follow through and the property was never cleaned.
“There were a gazillion of them,” Schultz said.
Schultz said he is very excited about the project, but realizes it will likely take several years. He said there is interest in the gas station property once the property meets all Ohio Environmental Protection Agency stipulations.
Winchell said the goal of getting the EPA to “sign off” is the next step in the process, but will include ground water monitoring and other tests.
The Port Authority has entered into a contract with The PennOhio Corporation and the company has subcontracted with Adams Services to complete this phase of the project at a cost of $33,000, Winchell said.
The PennOhio Corporation specializes in the disposing of a variety of kinds of wastes, said Russell Nank who is in charge of sales and operations.
Winchell said the property is presently being cleared and garbage is being transported to the dump, but any material that needs to be evaluated as potentially hazardous is being collected and the proper way of getting rid of the material will be handled by the company.
Nank said the hazardous materials will be evaluated and then destroyed in the most appropriate way for that particular material. He said the Nerf balls have already been transported to a dump.
“We are clearing up all the trailers,” said Mike Adams, owner of Adams Services. He said he grew up in Rock Creek and was excited to see the property cleared.
“Some of that stuff was there over 40 years,” he said.