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HUNTINGTON — Before Thanksgiving, demolition of 18 obsolete buildings on the former site of ACF Industries will begin.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams announced the demolition plans in a Tuesday panel that was part of the West Virginia Brownfields Conference. The Huntington Municipal Development Authority bought the property early last year.

“We will begin ... the demolition of 18 obsolete buildings to get this site flat and attractive for development,” Williams said. He added that the ACF site is expected to get a certificate of cleanup completion from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection in early 2022, if not sooner.

Dawn Seeburger, a licensed remediation specialist with experience in brownfield development, said all but three buildings on the property will be demolished. One is a warehouse that can be retained for redevelopment. The other two, a former weld shop and a former machine shop, have historical value.

A “major amount” of the city’s American Rescue Plan Act funds will be used to clear the future site of the Marshall University baseball stadium, or the former Flint Group Pigments property, the mayor also said during the panel. The funds will also be used for environmental work for that site, he added.

“We will be making the specific announcement in weeks to come,” Williams said.

In 2020, HMDA bought the former ACF Industries property, which is 42 acres, for $3.12 million. The acquisition was central to the city’s plan to remake the area and other surrounding properties, such as the Flint Group Pigments property, into the Huntington Brownfields Innovation Zone, or H-BIZ. The complex includes property between 3rd Avenue and the Ohio River along 24th Street.

Williams said the city is working with U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., to ensure federal funding for infrastructure upgrades for H-BIZ.

Huntington will also enter into a new partnership with Charleston, Coalfield Development and Advantage Valley as part of the new Appalachian Climate Technologies Now Coalition, or ACT Now, Williams said during the panel. The group will support clean energy technologies within the region, he said.

McKenna Horsley is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch, covering local government in Huntington and Cabell County. Follow her on Twitter @Mckennahorsley.

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