Defiance County’s land bank board selected a firm Thursday to handle a new state funding source to clean up abandoned factory sites known generally as “brownfields.”

Tetra Tech, Cincinnati — which has an office in Toledo — was selected as the “brownfield environmental consultant” during an elaborate scoring process undertaken at a special land bank board meeting Thursday. County commissioners must approve Tetra Tech’s selection during their Thursday session next week, according to Christina Deehr of Maumee Valley Planning Organization which is overseeing the process.

The firm will preside over the management of grants, property cleaning and environmental testing at so-called “brownfield sites.” As these are generally old abandoned factories, many require environmental testing and/or cleanup before they can be redeveloped.

However, actual property clean up would be handled by a different firm.

The land bank will preside over the $1 million the state will provide Defiance County this year for brownfield cleanup projects.

A list of projects — one must be submitted by Jan. 31 — includes the former SK Hand Tool site along Hopkins Street in Richland Township, the former Zeller property on Baltimore Road in Defiance, the former Vortex property on Jackson Avenue in Defiance and the former Defiance Precision Products site.

A separate $500,000 state grant to each Ohio county will be used this year to clean up residential and commercial properties. This is a separate program not requiring a brownfield consultant.

The other companies which had sought a brownfield contract with the land bank board — composed of county officials and a representative of Defiance City Hall — were TTL Association, Inc., with corporate headquarters in Toledo, and Civil & Environmental Consultants (CEC), Inc., with office locations across the country.

Each company was scored by the land bank on a scale of 0-5 in a number of categories, including “project experience of key personnel,” “regulatory and scientific technical knowledge” and “firm capabilities.” Land bank members agreed on a single score for each company in numerous subcategories before adding them together and giving Tetra Tech the top score.

Tetra Tech ended with 199 points while CEC totaled 165 and TTL had 134.

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