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Vermilion seeks funds for downtown lot

Andy Ouriel • Oct 13, 2013 at 7:35 AM

The city recently applied for an environmental grant to clean up the Fulper property, a former gas station site on Liberty Avenue, one block west of City Hall.

Crews demolished the building on the now-vacant land, owned by Vermilion, in an ongoing effort to enhance downtown.

“The tanks were removed, but the soil did not get a clean bill of health,” Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan said. “We plan to look into obtaining brownfield money from the state so we can have it checked to make sure the soil is not contaminated.”

Bulan envisions the space becoming a parking lot.

“We do need additional parking downtown,” she said.

A few years ago, the property went into foreclosure, and the Erie County land bank recently gave the land to Vermilion. The land bank was created to enhance communities by taking qualifying properties and rehabilitate, transfer or sell them.

“Since the land bank has the ability to obtain a clear title, free of liens and tax delinquencies — and the city of Vermilion could not — the land bank board of directors ultimately chose to deed the property over to the city of Vermilion,” land bank director Scott Schell said.

The Erie County auditor’s records show the property owed about $25,000 in back taxes.

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