Grant aims to help development of industrial sites

The City of Huntington will use a $350,000 grant to help develop industrial sites.

HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) Brunk Conley has lived across the street from what was the H.K. Porter factory in Huntington that produced asbestos brake pads for 43 years, but 15 years ago it was abandoned.

“It was jobs back in the day, but it’s an eyesore now,” Conley said.

Ask any of his neighbors and they’ll tell you the same thing.

“It’s definitely an eyesore,” Dakota Boggs said. “There’s a lot of stray cats.”

“I really don’t like to have people over because they look at that,” Tammy Oden said.

Now, that building is the at the heart of a project to redevelop the area. The City of Huntington received a $350,000 assessment grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program. A brownfield is a site that is hard to redevelop because of the possible contamination.

“Practically everyone I talk to is worried about what’s going to happen when they start cleaning it up,” Conley said. “I hope they got some way to contain it.”

That’s where the grant money comes in with $200,000 being used to create an inventory of brownfield sites in the city, conduct environmental assessments and create cleanup plans for sites with hazardous materials. The other $150,000 will be devoted to sites with possible petroleum contamination.

For Conley it’s one step closer to getting rid of the eyesore.

“It’ll help the neighborhood,” Conley said. “I’ve been pushing ever since it closed to get it cleaned up.”

The city will sign a formal agreement with the USEPA for the deal and get to work as soon as possible.

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