The state will demolish part of the former Rome Cable complex and remediate toxins on the site, according to a release from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The move brings the Rome Cable site, vacant for more than a decade, closer to City Hall’s vision of a south Rome industrial park. The department added complex four, on South Jay and Henry streets, to its Registry of Inactive Hazardous Waste Disposal (“Superfund”) Sites last month, classifying it as “present(ing) a significant threat to public health and/or the environment.”
According to DEC documents, the site has “asbestos-containing debris and polychlorinated biphenyls, semi-volatile organic compounds,” and a “volatile organic compound in soil above applicable standards ...”
“A state funded remedial action is anticipated to begin in 2019,” the department added.
Mayor Jacqueline M. Izzo called the move “very good news” for Rome.
“By the state adding the Rome Cable complex four to the Superfund, it means (the DEC) will be taking over the project, and it will be completely remediated and demoed ... totally at cost to the state,” she said.
“It looks like we’ll be able to use the (state) Restore Grant for site preparation work” after the demolition is complete, the mayor added.
“We’d like to create a small industrial park there, probably holding up to 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space,” the mayor added.
Making the site usable for manufacturers would help Rome meet local demand, the mayor continued. “There’s a real lack of industrial space throughout the county. Once you get over about 10,000 square feet, it’s very difficult to find a facility,” Izzo said. “So we’re hoping that on this remediated brownfield site, we can create a small park, and build this one with the neighborhood in mind.”
This would be accomplished by keeping industrial trucks off of residential streets through an access road.
“And we will also be able to develop it with neighborhood principles in mind, as far as landscaping and interior street layout,” the mayor said.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Third Ward Common Councilor Kimberly A. Rogers of the announcement.
“The neighbors have been looking at (Rome Cable) for a very, very long time, and it certainly has been a horrible eyesore for many, many years. Initially it was exciting that we were going to be able to take the building down, but now that the state has agreed to do the cleanup in addition to that, it’s fantastic.”
At least one industrial firm is already planning a move to south Rome. Under the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, air conditioning manufacturer Cold Point, currently in west Rome, will receive $900,000 in funding to build a 50,000 square foot plant on part of the Rome Cable site. The DEC will hold a public meeting on the Rome Cable abatement and demolition on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the South Rome Senior Center, 112 Ridge St.