Village looking to develop former Niphos site
Plant was scene of 2012 Superfund cleanup

By Joe VanDeLaarschot

Nov. 8, 2019

 The former Niphos Plating Co. site at 308-310 Oak St. in Slinger in this July 25, 2016 photo, sits deteriorating further after an emergency cleanup of dangerous chemicals by the Environmental Protection Agency. Washington County, which now owns the property, is close to sending out requests for proposals to develop the site.
Joe VanDeLaarschot/Daily News Staff

SLINGER — Progress may finally be in sight for development of the former Niphos Plating Company site in the village. The site was the scene for a massive hazardous materials cleanup using funds from the U.S. Superfund in October 2012. Now Washington County is close to seeking proposals for development of the property at 308-310 Oak Street.

The county now owns the property after taking control when the owners failed to pay the property taxes for the site.

 “They are very close to issuing a request for proposals needed to sell it to someone. In fact, I just got an email with the schedule on that,” said Slinger Village Administrator Margaret Wilber. “They are expecting to have an official ad for the newspaper for Nov. 22 announcing the progress. Then on Dec. 3 they are planning to release a request for proposals and then there would be a mandatory preproposal meeting in early January and then proposals would be due by Jan. 23.”

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2012 removed barrels containing thousands of pounds of copper cyanide, sodium cyanide, nickel sulfate and nitric acid, but the ground under the building may still be contaminated. More than 8,800 gallons of hazardous chemicals were abandoned inside and had to be removed under an EPA emergency procedure. Some neighbors have expressed concerns in the past that there still could be contamination under the building slab, which still could cause problems.

The plant been closed for several years and because the property is located in a residential area, redevelopment into an industrial site may not fit the neighborhood now. The site also is no bigger than a standard city lot.

Wilber said officials are now very excited about the progress on finding the future use of the property.

“The county has had four or five different groups expressing interest in that. They’ve been getting some pretty good proposals,” Wilber said. “We’ve got a feasibility study underway about a potential TIF district in that area that would then be available to assist anyone that is developing that property.”

Through the Site Redevelopment program, Stantec Consulting Services and Vandewalle and Associates have worked in collaboration with the county and the village to consider various redevelopment scenarios for the property.

Earlier this week the Village Board approved a memorandum of understanding so it could continue its involvement with the Washington County Brownfields Assessment Coalition. The village has been part of the group since 2014. It has received two Environmental Protection Agency grants since then and is in the process of applying for a third in 2020. One of the earlier grants was used in connection with the Niphos property.

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