A local aluminum recycling plant is working with local leaders to expand their business into a nearby vacant structure.

Imperial Aluminum acquired the former Kepcor/Structural Stoneware structure, located on Bridge Street, in 2021. But, there is one thing standing in the way of Imperial Aluminum utilizing the building, and that is lead and asbestos within the structure.

Officials with Imperial Aluminum must first remove the lead and asbestos that is within the building before they demolish part of the building. That is where the Carroll County commissioners are stepping in.

County commissioners are working to get $105,000 of state grant funding to help cover cleanup costs, which is through Ohio Developmental Services.

JMN is told that Imperial Aluminum has plans to tear down most of the Kepcor/Structural Stoneware building and use the remaining portion for a break room and locker room area for employees.

"Imperial Aluminum’s purchase of the former KepCor property in December 2021 secured a vision of future growth for the company and the Minerva community," said Carroll County Commissioner Chris Modranski. "In an effort to move that vision forward Carroll County Commissioners partnered with Imperial Aluminum to apply for a Brownfield Remediation and Building Demolition grants from the Ohio Department of Development."

Imperial Aluminum has already been approved for the grant to demolish a portion of the building, which is separate from the grant the commissioners are applying for. The demolition grant of $113,500 has been approved by the state.

“We’re extremely excited that one of our local industries is looking to expand and grow what they currently have,” said village Administrator Philip Turske said.

Tusrke said this has been a collaborative effort by all parties involved to work to get the grants needed to move forward.

“They brought forth a project and that’s really when the county took off with it,” he said.