Wagner site receives $2.8M grant for redevelopment


By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]



itSIDNEY — Nearly $3 million has been earmarked by the state of Ohio through a Brownfield Grant for the Wagner Site Redeveloment in the city of Sidney.

The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation (landbank) will receive $2,815,00 for site cleanup/remediation.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced state support for 112 brownfield remediation projects that will help clean up contaminated properties in Ohio to make way for future economic development.

As part of the Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program, the Ohio Department of Development is awarding $192 million for projects impacting 41 Ohio counties.

“It is a start to a long process. While the announcement has been made. We are still waiting for the dollars and any requirements that go with its’ use,” aid Doug Ahlers, Shelby County Land Reutilization Corporation director. “The land bank will be working closely with the City of Sidney.”

According to Ahlers,, the entire project is expected to cost $4,550,000.

“The land bank grant of $2.85 million along with an earmark to the city of $1 million and contributions of $500,000 from the city and $250,00 from the county commissioners makes up this number,” said Ahlers.

“Cleanup of the Wagner site has been a top priority of the Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership, City of Sidney, Shelby County and the Land Bank, so I am elated by the announcement today. Senator Matt Huffman has been a strong advocate for this brownfield funding, so I want thank him for his work on our behalf,” said Jim Hill, Sidney-Shelby Economic Partnership executive director.

“The money will act as the main catalyst for the project’s completion and serve as the first seed in opening up several other revenue streams to advance the project to completion. The city of Sidney will serve as a project partner in the cleanup and demolition of the site. City Council, and the administration have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this a reality, and it will be such a relief and win for all residents to see the site returned to green. Wagner Ware is certainly part of our history, and we honor that through cleaning up the site, and not allowing it to remain an obstruction for generations to come,” said Andrew Bowsher, Sidney city manager.

DeWine said the grants will allow cities to reclaim these properties to benefit their communities.

“These properties are vital spaces in our communities, ones that are not only being wasted in their current capacity, but oftentimes are a danger to their local communities,” said DeWine. “Today, we’re reclaiming these spaces for the future of our residents, businesses, and communities.”

The $192 million in grant awards includes approximately $187.8 million for 79 clean-up projects and $4.5 million for 33 assessment projects. These grants are in addition to the $60 million in Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program grants awarded in April. An additional $98 million in funds will be awarded in the coming months.

“This is revitalization at its finest,” said Husted. “These investments in cleaning up brownfields take blighted properties and turn them into parks, housing, or economic development sites that improve the quality of life for everyone in the local community.”

Funds awarded today will help to assess and clean up industrial, commercial, and institutional brownfield sites that are abandoned, idled, or underutilized due to a known or potential release of hazardous substances or petroleum. Following site remediation, properties can be redeveloped to revitalize neighborhoods and attract new economic development.

“There has already been some EPA testing for hazardous waste (Phase 1) and then the will be Phase 2 testing. Potential bidders must be vetted and then the bidding can begin. After that demolition,” said Ahlers. “This will be a process, not an event. We have a long road ahead of us. This is just a start.”

“These funds are significant investments in the future of our communities,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “By cleaning up these hazardous sites, we’re creating new opportunities for economic growth that will benefit businesses and residents for years to come.”

The five-acre Wagner industrial site dates to 1891 as the manufacturing facility for Wagnerware cooking products. The property has been abandoned since 2007 and is in poor condition, endangering the safety of pedestrians and vehicles. Remediation of the site includes demolition and infrastructure improvements. After cleanup is complete, the site will be redeveloped as a business incubator and co-working space.

“We have a great team working on this project, so we are anxious to begin the demolition and clean-up of the property. Words can’t adequately express how happy we are today!” said Hill.

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.