Award-Winning Site Selection
Award-Winning Site Selection

The AEP economic development team ranks among Site Selection Magazine’s Top Utilities again in 2021. Learn more

Wellston Interior
The interior of the McNally-Pitt building.

When Wellston, Ohio needed help to prepare a 112-year old industrial property for redevelopment, we stepped up. A $3,000 AEP Ohio site development grant helped the Jackson County Economic Development Partnership and the City of Wellston conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Those results helped the city qualify for Ohio’s brownfield revitalization program.

McNally Pittsburg was a successful manufacturer of machinery for the coal industry. Its 120,000 square-foot plant created jobs for about 100 people in Wellston, a small town of 5,600 residents southeast of Columbus. It shut down operations more than three decades ago. The facility has been vacant and used for city storage since 2012.

In late 2018, the city took steps to keep the facility from further deterioration and becoming a nuisance property threatening public safety. The cost of due diligence to get the site ready for sale was a huge hurdle. That’s when Brady got a call from our economic development team with an offer to help.

“Jackson County and the City of Wellston were able to leverage the seed funding from AEP Ohio for an ESA Phase I into over $100,000 of environmental due diligence from both the Ohio EPA and US EPA without any local match,” said Sam Brady, executive director of Jackson County Economic Development Partnership. “As a result of AEP Ohio’s investment in Wellston, this property is one step closer to redevelopment which means news jobs for our community.”

Our seed funding is part of a site development initiative, aimed at helping communities create jobs and encourage capital investment. More than $200,000 in grants have been distributed in AEP Ohio’s communities in the past three years.

Thanks to the revitalization effort, the McNally Pittsburg site has entertained visits from several prospective buyers since Thanksgiving 2020, including a refractory and an alternative energy company. Brady hopes the new tenant can bring about 100 jobs to the city.

Is your community looking to revitalize a brownfield property? Let us know about it. To learn how AEP can help your community, contact the local economic development manager in your region.

Learn more about the author, Liberty Schindel.

  • Community Development