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A long-closed Town of Tonawanda chemical plant destroyed by fire in 1988 would be demolished under a plan to seize the property for back taxes and return it to a condition in which it could be redeveloped.
Grant money from National Grid and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency will be used to tear down dilapidated buildings on the former Polymer Applications site at 3445 River Road once the tax foreclosure process is complete, said John C. Cappellino, IDA executive vice president.
The 6.7-acre industrial site - once used by Polymer Applications to manufacture resins, plastics and rubber products - has undergone federal and state cleanup projects to remove hazardous waste and contaminated soil from the land.
Erie County is now moving forward with a plan to foreclose on the site for back taxes and transfer the property to Buffalo & Erie County Industrial Land Development Corp.
"The intent will be to remove the existing structures that are on the property and then hopefully, at some point, see if the site can be redeveloped at a future date," Cappellino said.
"At this point, really what we're trying to do is to get control of the property and do the final removal of the structures."
The Erie County Legislature will hold a public hearing on the proposed land transfer at 2 p.m. Wednesday in Old County Hall, 92 Franklin St.
More than $2.4 million in property taxes and interest is owned on the land, according to Erie County.
Grant funds that will be used to demolish the buildings include $300,000 from National Grid and $200,000 from the Erie County IDA, Cappellino said.
The chemical plant - the site of a large 1988 explosion and fire - was shut down after a second fire at Polymer Applications in 1990.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency completed a $5 million Superfund cleanup project to remove chemicals and hazardous waste from the site in 1996.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation completed its remediation earlier this year.

email: djgee@buffnews.com