November 27, 2021

Cortland OKs deal to clean up Noss Park brownfield

Bownfield Map Infographic

The Cortland Common Council voted unanimously Tuesday for Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin to enter into a contract for a company to remediate contamination at the Noss Park industrial site.

The contract — worth $247,316 — will be used to have crews from Boland’s Excavating and Top Soil in Conklin come to the site and remove top soil from the hazardous waste site and replaced with clean top soil, said Ric VanDonsel, the corporation counsel for the city.

“This is just going to get it ready to go to market,” he said prior to Tuesday’s council meeting.

Funding for the project would come from grants the city has previously been awarded for the revitalization of brownfields — vacant or under-used properties.

No official projects have been slated for Noss Park.

The project is part of the city’s efforts to revitalize its brownfields.

One of those is funding sources is the Brownfield Opportunity Area program, administered by Thoma Development Consultants, of Cortland.

Under the program, development of potential brownfield include:

  • The former Apex Tools site of 9.8 acres on the east side, off Cleveland, Garfield and River streets.
  • A 2.75-acre area around the Cortland Corset building on East Court Street.
  • The 16.56-acre Port Watson Industrial Park, south of Port Watson Street and east of Pendleton Street.
  • Noss Park, a 24-acre area to the southwest of the corner of Huntington and Pendleton streets.
  • South Main Street, which combines commercial, industrial and residential uses.
  • The south-end neighborhood of 23.7 acres of 40 different properties along the railroad tracks between Delaware Avenue and south Main Street.

The program works to develop strategies to improve areas that have been vacant or under-used, said Rich Cunningham, the president and senior consultant of Thoma Development Consultants, before the meeting.

The work under this program encompasses about 540 acres containing 42 brownfields.

“Noss Park is a great location,” Tobin said prior to the meeting. “It’s close to the school, close to Main Street. We’re excited when this project is completed. It will bring this property back to use.”

The city was hoping to complete work and have it ready for sale in 2020 but the pandemic shifted the city’s priorities, Tobin said.

The city has been working for decades to revitalize brownfields, Tobin said.

The site was formerly the Rosen Brothers property. It once was home to the Wickwire Brothers Inc. wire factory from about 1866 to 1970, which included a nail mill, netting mill, glass cloth weave mill and several storage buildings.

The city acquired the site in 1988 and it was declared a brownfield by the state in the late 1990s. Areas around Noss Park include South Avenue, south Main Street, Pine Street and Crawford Street.