The city of Findlay has taken over cleaning up a 28-acre scrap tire dump near the city's downtown, and hopes to clear the space by year-end.
The site, formerly owned by Brandman Corp., contains an estimated 750,000 whole and shredded tires, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. The Ohio EPA took Jerry Vestal, the head of Brandman, to court in 2001 to force a cleanup of the dump.
Hancock County Common Pleas Judge Reginald Routson fined Vestal $503,552 in November for various violations of state solid waste and scrap tire statutes. The judge suspended all but $10,000 of the fine if Vestal sold the dump to the city for $1, which he did on May 6.
Soon the city will submit a timetable to the Ohio EPA for cleanup, which the agency will approve in an official order, an agency spokeswoman said. The city has contracted with Liberty Tire Services L.L.C. to begin removal of the approximately 140,000 whole tires at the site, Findlay Mayor Tony Iriti said.
As for the shredded tires, the Hancock County landfill will take them to line a new cell, he said.
Once the space is cleared, the city will begin clearing the site to make room for a new Findlay-Hancock County public library, a 20,000-sq.-ft. office building and a gathering place for concerts and festivals, the mayor said.