UPDATE: Vienna Working to Annex Former Johns Manville Property

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UPDATE 11/10/2014 4:25 PM

Another step toward redeveloping the former Manville complex.

The City of Vienna is working to annex the property.

It formally made that request Monday morning to the Wood County Commission.

But it's not waiting for that decision before cleaning up the property.

The city has been cleaning up that property this fall, and doesn't see any environmental problems with it.

"Of course, there's always asbestos, so the roof and tile on the inside of the old building will have to be removed. But for the most part, the site's pretty clean. We had two environmental studies done, and that turned out better than we expected," says Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp.

The mayor says much of the planned recreation area, including a walking trail, has already been cleaned up.

Vienna is seeking grants to clean up the rest of the property.


UPDATE 9/30/2014 5:10 PM

Hitting the ground running.

The City of Vienna officially owns the old Johns Manville property and site work is already in progress.

It was last Friday when Vienna got the property, and enough trees have already been cleared that, for the first time, the Ohio River can be seen from River Road.

Mayor Randy Rapp says the state department of environmental protection has to give its approval to the remediation process of the former industrial site.

He says that process could take until next spring.

The first changes to the property will be the addition of recreational facilities, including walking and bicycle trails.

"We're already cleaning the existing walking trail that's been there for a number of years. The horseshoe pits are being refurbished as we speak. The parking areas are being brought back up to standards. So, as far as the riverfront side of it goes, we've already started on it," says Mayor Rapp/

The mayor emphasizes plans for the site involve more than just recreation.

Vienna has had interest from commercial businesses - including industry - in a 28 acre portion of the property.

And Mayor Rapp says Vienna is looking at ways to recover the money it paid for the property.

That even includes selling the steel debris left over from the demolition of the old Manville business a couple of years ago.


UPDATE 9/29/2014 4:40 PM

We've been following this story for some time now.

The Johns Manville property is now in possession of the City of Vienna.

The property was purchased last Friday.

Mayor Rapp says this is a major undertaking for the city.

Clean-up is already underway.


UPDATE 7/25/2014 12:35 PM

A big turnout Thursday at Vienna's City Council meeting, as members put in their final votes for the purchase of the old Johns Manville property.

It passed, but not without concerns for the future generations of Vienna.

Four citizens took the podium, addressing possible contamination and if the project's finances will come from taxpayers pockets.

"The city purchasing this property would be better because I feel like I can trust you as individuals to make the right decisions for us and for our community rather than somebody else," says Kasey Borkover, a Vienna resident.

"We did water samples core samples core drillings. Nothing throws up a red flag," says Mayor Randy Rapp.

Council unanimously approved the purchase.

The Department of Environmental Protection is overseeing the project to ensure all standards are followed.

Until a decision is made on what the property will become, an exact price tag for the city can't be placed.


UPDATE 7/24/2014 11:07 AM

Giving the power to the people.

Vienna City Council hosted a visionary meeting at the Jackson Community Building Wednesday night regarding the Johns Manville property.

Vienna community members were given maps to draw their own ideas for the property.

More than 65 people came to brainstorm.

One spokesperson with West Virginia Redevelopment Collaborative says recreation, a brewery, restaurants and local retail tend to be most of the ideas.

"We need a small civic center. We can do garage sales inside, car shows, trade shows and utilize the inside. I really think it'll increase property value," says Bill Terrell, a Vienna resident of 45 years.

Terrell adds more ideas, including fishing, a swimming area and place to load boats.

One more reading by council is required and that meeting is Thursday night.


UPDATE 7/23/2014 5:00 PM

Close to buying the old Johns Manville property.

Another step Wednesday night includes public opinion.

Wednesday a visionary meeting is being held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Vienna Community Building.

All for the public to discuss what they would like to see for the property.

One more reading by council is required and that meeting is Thursday night.


UPDATE 7/18/2014 12:35 PM

Another step toward new developments at the old Johns Manville site.

Vienna City Council approved an ordinance Thursday night, allowing the city to buy that property.

The council voted unanimously on the first reading to purchase the property.

But one more reading is required by council to complete the transaction.

That will be at next week's council meeting.

Also happening next week, there will be a visionary session next Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 at the Vienna Community Building.

All community members are invited to attend to discuss the property.

"We would like to bring them in, talk about the things that we've done up to this point. Explain to them where we would like to take this in the future and then answer any questions. Because you're going to have questions about something that's been there that long," says Mayor Randy Rapp.

Mayor Rapp says the city will bring experts to answer questions the community may have.

He adds that it's a big project that's going to be very good for the city.


UPDATE 7/11/14

Vienna City Council votes to purchase the former Johns Manville Plant Site.

The property on Second Ave. is owned by Structures Resources Incorporated, a Huntington development firm. It use to be home to the Manville Plant which closed eight years ago and recently torn down.

Mayor Randy Rapp says cleaning up the 39 acres in the center of town will be a great addition to Vienna.

He says the 15 acres in the back of the river will be made into a park and the remaining 19 acres of the industrial site will be developed into commercial property.
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UPDATE 5/20/2014 10:55 AM

In Vienna a special city council meeting was held Monday night to discuss the old Johns Manville property.

Council spent nearly 40 minutes in executive session deciding what they want the next step to be when it comes to purchasing the property.

Once out of the session a motion was made to allow Mayor Randy Rapp to enter into an agreement with Eave's Recycling and continue to facilitate a purchase of the Manville property.

"The vote that we took this evening authorizes me to just finish another part of the puzzle so that we can get the whole package put together," says Mayor Rapp.

At Thursday's regular city council meeting the property is on the agenda and any public comments will be taken at the beginning of the meeting which starts at 7 p.m.


UPDATE 5/16/2014 4:25 PM

The old Johns Manville property in Vienna could be transferred to new owners Monday.

The only item on the agenda for a special Vienna City Council meeting calls for a transaction involving the 2nd Avenue site where the plant stood before it was torn down two years ago.

But Mayor Randy Rapp says that will be preceded by a closed-door meeting.

Any vote council takes on the transaction depends on the outcome of that executive session.

Rapp has said the city would like to use part of that property for recreational purposes.

The Manville plant closed eight years ago.

It's owned by a Huntington development firm.


People in Vienna will soon see some kind of a recreational facility at the old Johns Manville property.

The City of Vienna Council has authorized a resolution to do an environmental study on the vacant factory.

Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp says they're going to explore some options on what's going to be built at the 15 acre property.

Council members will also see what the actual condition of the ground is like there.

"It's a tremendous location. There's so much potential down there that could be done and it get's rid of an eyesore in a way of having an abandoned factory right in the middle of our town which is being demolished now," says Mayor Rapp.

City council members won't decide on what to do with the vacant factory until the environmental study is complete.


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