Erie Blacktop’s Wikel responds to concerns about asphalt tank

A high-ranking executive answered lingering questions posed by several residents regarding a proposed asphalt tank.
Andy Ouriel
Aug 21, 2013


In late July, Erie Blacktop vice president Larren Wikel touted the benefits of a new 1.5 million-gallon waterfront asphalt tank on King Street, north of West Monroe Street, to Sandusky officials at a public meeting.
The company could ship in asphalt by barge or rail, then transport the material by truck to cut down on costs. Workers can then deliver asphalt to locations throughout northern Ohio. Among the proposed project benefits:
• Investing $2 million in private funds for a blighted area.
• Creating up to 15 new full-time jobs.
• Making much-needed street repairs with private funds.
• Boosting property and income taxes.
Some city residents seemed concerned about several issues surrounding the project. Wikel, however, promptly addressed each question with in-depth answers. After the brief question-and-answer sessions, city officials said they want to continue discussions with him.

It’s unknown if, or when, a deal could occur.


The Bizness

Please people stop blocking this, I am a pretty stern environmentalist but we need to maintain industry and shipping is one thing Sandusky really needs to hold onto.

T. A. Schwanger


A better way to develop this particular piece of property would have been for the City Manager and City Commission to pursue Clean Ohio Revitalization Funds (CORF)for demolition and environmental remediation then market the property to make sure we are getting the best land use deal. The City had plenty of time to react--Erie Materials proposal is at least 7 years old.

Instead the City allowed the property to fall into it's current state.


Could this property be classified as a brownfield though? That's the only way it could have ever qualified for CORF monies.


The only maritime shipping we have is the coal docks and the City of Sandusky has been totally had in that deal.

This is not a very good use of that property. Even worse if they're allowed to run a package plant there. The stink will ruin half the city.

Much better opportunities will come.


be leery of eerie

Tool Box

I hope you like the smell of asphalt because that is what downtown will smell like when this goes in. The transfer of products routinely will emit wonderful new smells downtown! Oh boy!


I wouldn't consider King Street downtown. Why would they drive through downtown when Rt. 2 is just south of there?

Tool Box

They aren't gonna drive downtown. That's not what I was saying. Try to follow this.... The ship comes in. The product on the ship now needs to be offloaded into vehicles or a tank. (You still with me?). During this process venting needs to occur. During the venting, product smell is emitted into the air. The prevailing wind is from west to east therefore putting downtown directly in the path of the smell. That was your education for the day. Pay the lady on the way out please.


I will try not to be as snide and rude as Tool Box in explaining this. I work in the "Environmental Protection Industry". With the amount of controls and permitting that would be required on a new structure like this, the off chance of getting any noticeable smells from any VOC's would be a very, very rare occurrence. If Tool Box's point above had any merit half of Toledo would be evacuated every time they did an LPG offload at the CSX docks. Sometimes people think that technology used in the 60'-90's is what would be used today. That is not the case.

On a separate point, if the city were to block this it would be like telling any new businesses or investors that Sandusky is closed to business.

The Bizness

Thank you BDupler, that is was I am trying to say.

Tool Box

@BDumber, you obviously do NOT work in a transfer station. I obviously have, and it was in Toledo. The East side of Toledo stinks to high heaven! You obviously are one of those management style who believes everything that you read and never go into the field to see the truth. Harmful and non-harmful emissions are treated differently. Nowhere did I say that these emissions were harmful. Pay the lady on the way out beeoochh!


Thank you for demonstrating your maturity...


Cant be any worse than driving down 250 or getting outside of your car at any given summer day to eat or shop in that area. The sulphur smell is down right stinky.




yea that might be the case , but one thing you are leaving out is the smell that is coming from the poluted Lake Erie . There are times when you cant stand being downtown cause of the smell coming from the Lake and Bay . Its so bad at time you can even smell the lake in the water you drink at home . I have smelled it first hand so I know what I am talking about .If the city wants to gripe about something , let them grip about the conditions of the water that People drink as well as bath in .Then they can say something about Erie Blacktop


Love that smell. I've been known to go around the block to drive past a newly paved parking lot a second time.

Esthetics are subjective.


I would not consider it any worse then the main areas around perkins township with the quarry. And like it was mentioned, not exactly downtown.


As opposed to the sewage plant nestled right there just behind the city boat docks?? This will bring money and jobs to the city instead of crime and despair, why block it??

Good 2 B Me

Downtown already smells of failed business, drugs and crime. How much harm is the scent of asphalt going to cause?

JudgeMeNot's picture


Bill Bishop

Ask the people of Lorain how many years to took to close the asphalt plant next to a residential zone. The smell was terrible for at least 1/2 mile around the plant.

Tool Box

You thought downtown is a ghost town now? Just wait till they add the smell of asphalt in the air all day long! That will be the doom of Sandusky. Maybe you can put this in downtown Huron. Hey have a riverfront.


Here's a new question:
15 jobs--Erie Black Top/Materials is headquartered in Huron/Huron Twsp. Will all 15 new jobs be tied to Sandusky for income tax sake or only the two employees stationed at the coal dock?

The Bizness

From my understanding this isn't going to be an asphalt plant, rather a transfer station from ships to trucks.

Tool Box

Ok? Your point?

The Bizness

it wont smell like asphalt anymore than a road smells like it.

T. A. Schwanger


A better way to develop this particular piece of property would have been for the City Manager and City Commission to pursue Clean Ohio Revitalization Funds (CORF)for demolition and environmental remediation then market the property to make sure we are getting the best land use deal. The City had plenty of time to react--Erie Materials proposal is at least 7 years old.

Instead the City allowed the property to fall into it's current state.

2cents's picture

Some odor possible, I am not all that up on transfer but every gasoline station in the country receives and dispenses fuels. They vent to the atmosphere, are the emissions filtered? Can they be filtered, yes. Your automobiles are basically using a closed fuel system today, therefor that snapping gas cap. Maybe just a few simple questions and answers that would make people happy. You will never see the industry we one time had come back, just this morning while setting up a Hardinge secondary operation lathe for an employee I said "you know companies used to have hundreds of these things on a floor and people operating them, today they use CNC machines and a few people operate them, those jobs are gone forever"

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I agree. For as much pining that goes on for a lost industrial golden age what is being done to restore it? Between governmental/environmental regulations, to efficiencies built in competition, to a community declaring "NIMBY", and more what are we doing to foster industrial activity? This seems like a "first-world problem" to me if there was one.


I totaly agree with you but, you know how the worry warts think, 2Cents.


attn: L. Wikel, if Erie County does not want this please contact Huron County. Thank you. Sincerely many people.

Don Lee

A tank barge and tug coming into Norwalk would be a sight to see -- but yes, I get the sentiment.


It isn't just a matter of unpleasant odors. It is also the chemicals you are breathing. How can the air and water be cleaned up when we continue to pollute?


It is time to look beyond the income tax and begin to plan for a future without it. An eight percent admissions tax including paid parking is needed to begin to rebuild the infrastructure, separate storm and sanitary sewers, remove dead trees, repave streets, fix catch basins and move into the 21st Century. The value of having no city income tax will make Sandusky the most cost effective location for businesses in the area. The only other thing we need is to simplify permitting to a one stop process.


I think it would smell better than CertainTeed in Milan.

Tool Box

It will probably smell just as bad as CertainTeed. Which according to BDumber's explanation and education must be against the law!


As to the smell, I'd like to add: I live on Marblehead near the bay and every time the wind is from the south, the smell of asphalt from the existing asphalt plant is so strong we have to close the windows. The odor and fumes ofter cause watering of the eyes. I can't imagine something like that being as close to downtown as is being suggested. Then there is always the possibility of spillage, that close to the water of our beautiful bay!

JudgeMeNot's picture

Somtimes when the wind is from the north We can smell the stench Of downtown Santucky in Norwalk.


We can not have this, Our downtown is so beautiful, why risk turning it into a blighted area where no one would want to go. We want to bring people to downtown, we have so much to offer: the most beautiful parks, the waterfront to walk along and chat with the citizens who are fishing,the independent eateries that are amazing, the State Theater, our beautiful library. And what about the citizens who live on the west side of town, why should they have to inhale this poison??!! Some things are so much more important than the almighty dollar. Huron could place it where the old Pillsbury plant was, but I would not want to live in Huron....Let's keep Sandusky beautiful!!!


Lease the property, don't sell it.


We don't want this in our community. The smell will be horrible. I'm with Schwanger and the others who object to this. The time has come to improve the waterfront recreational. Look how successful the marine has become.

T. A. Schwanger


We are not totally against Erie Materials proposed project.

If they can prove odor will be at a minimum great. If they have a solid anti-spill plan in place great. If they can show the majority of the estimated jobs will be a decent wage and provide income tax to the City great.

We do however, question whether Erie Materials honestly needs to use both abandoned docks eliminating future possibilities and if a serious look at the 2006 Sandusky Bay Pathway plans for the site can be incorporated into Erie Materials plans.

T. A. Schwanger


The EPA requires a dike or containment around any aboveground tank that will hold petroleum or most anything, of 110% of the volume of the tank. That was from maybe 10 years ago,I would guess that the regs are at least as strict now as then. I am sure the State, county, and others have regulations will also cover the leaking of the tank besides the EPA. It would be simple to run a search for such things on the internet if you want.


Too funny. Business people always want development and now that we have something that creates jobs, they are against it because of the smell. Make up your minds.


We have to protect our water and our air, without it, what good is the money. Let's get real, the owners are going to tell you what you want to hear, not the truth.