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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A total of 30 acres of property located between Jeep Parkway and the Ottawa River cannot be reused for industrial purposes as part of the Overland Industrial Park redevelopment project, so the plan is to return that land to nature.
For nearly 40 years, Ron Tollison worked at the former Jeep Parkway facility and used the parking lot, which is now an asphalt wasteland.
"39 years I parked in that parking lot. Some of my family retired from there, along with myself. Best place I ever worked at," said Tollison.
A measure before Toledo City Council calls for the city to commit $113,000 for designing a plan with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to remove the asphalt and convert the vacant lot into a storm water park, a new wetland area right next to the Ottawa River.
"That will basically accept the storm water drainage from the Overland Industrial Park site - once it's developed - and create a nice wetland feature," said Tim Murphy, Toledo Environmental Services commissioner.
Murphy says the project is part of city efforts to no longer be considered a responsible party for damage to the Ottawa River watershed.
"The remediation of the Ottawa River, the clean-up of contaminated sediment is done now. The goal is to basically restore the river to its natural state," said Murphy.
With work expected to begin next year, Tollison says any change will be a good thing.
"At least they'll be doing something with it, rather than letting it sit there like it has been. That'll be alright turning it back to nature," said Tollison.