Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Peck's Addition cleanup near end

By Earnest Winston
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — The health department is about two weeks away from removing overgrown weeds, garbage, household appliances and brush from the illegal dumping ground known as Peck's Addition to prepare the 80-acre site for development.

        More than 2,000 tons of trash has been removed from the site over the last four months, and city offi cials are working with the courts to acquire the remaining 30 of more than 300 lots at the site.

        “It's gone from something that was very unattractive, unappealing, actually a blight in the community, to something now that is going to be a prime development site,” City Manager Steve Sorrell said. “We have a very detailed plan that was pre pared in 1993 which involves a lot of mixed use, some light commercial and light manufacturing. As soon as all the property is available, we're going to start marketing it for development. There's already been a couple of sites that have been sold.”

        In the past, people lived at the site, located east of Peck Boulevard and across the street from Miami Uni versity-Hamilton. As more people were “relocated out of that area and the homes were torn down, fewer and fewer people were there to observe people coming in dumping. It sort of became an illegal dumping ground,” said Dr. William Karwisch, director of Hamilton's health department.

        According to the Peck's Addition Urban Renewal Plan, the site will create employment opportunities, particularly for low- and moderate-income people, through the creation of businesses. The plan also calls for sufficient parking for employees, customers and visitors to the Urban Renewal area.

        City officials have initiated engineering work to design roads, sewers, utilities and lots.

        “They are now in the process of completely cutting the area with mowers and getting it down to the normal ground growth,” Mr. Sorrell said. He said police have stepped up patrol around the site to watch for illegal dumping. All but one of the entrances have been closed.

        The project is expected to cost about $100,000. The work was mostly completed by city employees, prisoners and volunteer help from the National Guard.


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