CHARLESTON, W.Va. — If Stephanie Johnson and her West Side neighbors have their way, the old Sunoco station at the corner of Greendale Drive and Washington Street could soon become a dog park, or maybe a children’s park.
First, though, Johnson needs to ensure the property is free of environmental hazards.
Like other former gas stations, the .71-acre site at the foot of the West Side hill once hid underground storage tanks. And its soil was likely contaminated by gasoline that overflowed from car fill pipes and oil that washed from the garage floor.
Johnson, director of the West Side Main Street program, recently obtained a $5,000 grant from the West Virginia Brownfields programs. The program is aimed at helping folks reuse contaminated (brownfields) sites.
Working with Patrick Kirby at the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU, Johnson and other grant winners will meet in June to decide how to use their money. It could go toward more soil testing or feasibility studies, she said.
“Since I’ve been here, this is the site I get the most calls about,” Johnson said Monday beside the fenced-in property.
“I get calls about once a month: ‘Do you know what’s going on? Are there any grants available?’ Most are from Edgewood residents.”