ASHLAND -- The former Hess and Clark factory could soon be in the city of Ashland’s possession, allowing for the dilapitated structure to be demolished and the property cleaned up.
At Tuesday evening’s regular Ashland City Council meeting, Mayor Matt Miller announced that the city has secured a letter from the out-of-town owner of the 10 E. 7th Street property, which says he is willing to donate the building.
“This is something we've been working on for the last two years,” Mayor Miller said. “We simply need ownership so we can move forward with the demolition of that building.”
He told city council that they will see legislation in the coming weeks relating to this. If council gives its approval, the city could take ownership of the property and move forward with cleanup.
The Ashland County Land Bank and Mayor Miller have been eyeing the Hess and Clark factory since at least August 2018.
At that time, the mayor said he had confirmation from the building’s owner that he was willing to give the property to the land bank, but because the property was tied up in litigation in Michigan -- the property owner’s home state -- the transaction would take some time.
Mayor Miller also shared that the city is working with the land bank to acquire ownership of an abandoned gas station located on the corner of Claremont and West Liberty Avenues and with the State of Ohio to secure a grant for its cleanup.
“In my mind, I’ve always had that there were three big messes we needed to clean up -- certainly there are more-- but three of the big ones were the Pump House, Hess and Clark and that gas station on Claremont, and it’s not out of the question to think that by the end of this calendar year we could be in agreements to do just that,” Miller said.
Pump House Update
The mayor reported the pile of debris in the Pump House Corridor is continually getting smaller.
He said Page Demolition & Excavating had encountered another equipment issue, which has since been resolved. This time, a rented concrete crusher broke after four days.
“Still, he continues to make progress,” Mayor Miller said.