Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, June 5 newspaper on Page A1.

JACKSON — The former Meridian Automotive Plant property may be redeveloped by the end of this year, an official helping to lead the project has said.

The Jackson County Economic Development Partnership has acquired the 22.3 acres of property in Jackson, with plans to clean up and redevelop the site. Samuel Brady, the partnership’s executive director, told The Courier recently that JCEDP closed on the real estate transaction.

Officials with JCEPD and Tetra Tech (which conducted the property assessment) hosted a bid walk on the property in late May. This was to allow prospective contractors to view the property; six firms were present, with four being local.

Brady told The Courier that JCEDP would be receiving bids for the clean-up project until Thursday, June 6. Tetra Tech will then recommend a final contractor, which JCEDP will retain.

The scope of work for the project involves excavation and removal of contaminated soils; demolition; and removal of machinery pits, foundations, footers, and bulk debris remaining on the site. The site has been subdivided into three distinct areas.

“Hopefully, we will have a groundbreaking ceremony later in June,” Brady said. “Our goal is to have dirt moving before July 4, 2019, with a completion date of Thanksgiving 2019.”

Last year, Brady had reported that the JCEDP had received $1.8 million in funding to purchase the site and redevelop it. The project will also include two roadway investments.

Funding was provided by JobsOhio, Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth and the Joint Economic Development Initiative of Southern Ohio.

Meridian was located there from 2000 to 2007, The Courier previously reported. Much of the plant was torn down in 2015 and officials have since sought to clean up the site to make it usable again. Previous occupants included Goodyear (1966-1997) and Cambridge Industries (1997-2000).

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