Prep Work Ongoing at Fostoria Site

Those walking or driving by the site of the former Fostoria Glass Co. site on First Street are noticing a major change in the landscape, as contractors now work to pack 200,000 cubic yards of pollution-free soil into the property to elevate it to street-level.

“The Fostoria site is starting to look a lot better,” Moundsville Vice Mayor David Wood said. “It is good to see them make this progress.”

Tom Brown and James Tomlinson, co-owners of GAB Enterprises, doing business as Vinmar Partners, own the Fostoria land.

Brown said contractors hauled the soil from the Proctor area, emphasizing it meets all U.S. Environmental Protection Agency safety standards.

“The work is moving along as scheduled,” Brown said, adding contractors worked with city leaders to resolve any traffic problems caused by the 30 trucks per day moving to the site.

EPA records show the Fostoria land qualified for a $200,000 Brownfields cleanup grant in 2009. EPA information states the soil and buildings at the Fostoria site at that time were contaminated with arsenic, metals and inorganic contaminants. Brown said workers removed all of this hazardous material to prepare the site for redevelopment.

“We’ve had interest, but we will have to see what happens,” Brown said, while acknowledging some companies involved in the Marcellus and Utica shale drilling industry are looking at the land for possible development.

The Fostoria factory once employed about 1,000 workers at its pinnacle of production, but the facility closed after yielding its last piece of glassware in 1986.

The large buildings was vacant for several years before the Moundsville Economic Development Council and the city of Moundsville joined forces in 2000 in an effort to raze the structures.

However, when officials found extensive soil contamination, it took several years – and help from the EPA – to complete the work.

“I am excited to see this happen,” City Councilman Phil Remke said of the Fostoria work.