Cannelton city government and not the county will head clean up efforts at the former Can-Clay property following a surprise move by the county redevelopment commission. PCN Photo: Mark Eisenlohr
Cannelton city government and not the county will head clean up efforts at the former Can-Clay property following a surprise move by the county redevelopment commission. PCN Photo: Mark Eisenlohr
TELL CITY – The shuttered Can-Clay grounds will soon be transferred from the county redevelopment commissionion into control of Cannelton City government.

That decision was made last week after a request from Mayor Mary Snyder to have the deed to the 30-some-odd acres conveyed to the city.

Snyder had previously expressed desires for Cannelton to have the property and voiced concerns that the city’s leaders had not been invited to other discussions pertaining to the matter.

During the redevelopment commissions session earlier this summer, board chairman Paul Malone addressed those sentiments, noting that not much talk had gone on about the future of the grounds, and he encouraged Snyder to make a formal appeal for conveyance.

In June, the board received estimates for cleanup efforts at the site, yet negotiations all but stalled due to a lack of funds to pay for $124,362 price tag. However, a grant-funded Phase I Brownfield assessment has been conducted at the site to determine any unknown environmental hazards and a Phase II study is currently underway.

The initial hopes from the redevelopment commission were that the Can-Clay property could be rehabbed and sold for development of new manufacturing locations. During early talks about how to best handle any sale, Snyder successfully lobbied to have a 2-acre tract deeded to the city for potential use as the location of a new sewage treatment plant.

But since that time Snyder said it’s in the community’s best interest to have control of the entire facility and provide the direction for how it may be used in the future.

She went on to say that city leaders have already consulted with Indianapolis-based engineering firms to initiate plans to “get an outside perspective for the best things down there; it’s right in the middle of our city.”

The board initially gave pause to Snyder’s proposal since Alvin Evans, Perry County Development Corp. Project Manager, the agency assisting the county in returning the property back to the tax rolls, announced they had a likely buyer for a portion of the grounds. Evans alleviated any apprehensions the board may have by assuring that negotiations with the buyer could continue even if the land is county deeded to the city.

The level of involvement PCDC has in the venture, however, is contingent on the city wanting to continue the relationship with the agency.

In years past the city council has failed to contract with PCDC for services and that relationship was just re-established last year with no guarantees that future contracts would be signed.

“If the city believes that this is in their best interest … I would make that motion,” board member Jon Scheer said in initiating the unanimous vote in favor of transferring the deeds.

The attorneys for both the city and redevelopment commission are set to begin the work to formalize the deal.

Cannelton Common Council will likely address future plans and proposals at their next meeting, Monday, Oct. 14.

The property could be key to any future development plans for Cannelton, as it occupies a significant portion of prime real estate between the Cotton Mill Apartments and the river.
Copyright 2019