MOUNT VERNON — It took a little sweet talking, but Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis was able to get the American National Can clean up project into the top 10 for funding on Friday.
Mount Vernon was one of 19 cities with projects in the running for part of the $20 million pot offered by the Clean Ohio Council to clean up derelict industrial sites, with the opportunity to generate jobs.
Going into Friday’s presentations, Mount Vernon was No. 11 on the list with a total score of 104. Mavis said he, and other project representatives, were give two minutes to give their best pitch for their project in an effort to sway the 10 council members, who then ranked the 19 projects. These rankings were included in the computer-generated scoring model to determine which projects were funded.
Mavis said his biggest concern for the project was that it does not generate long-term jobs.
“We fell short of job creation but Replex Plastics will set up a solar farm on the eight acres of concrete that are there,” Mavis told the News Friday after returning from the presentation in Columbus.
The project will also protect the well field, clean up the land fill, remove lead from the tiling and develop the site for electricity. Mavis said there is potential for the solar farm to expand to 20 acres or more.