Local officials expect it will take up to 18 months for Corning Inc. to fully remediate the former Philips Lighting plant on Vaksdahl Avenue.
Jody Lassiter, president and chief executive officer of the Danville-Boyle County Economic Development Partnership, said during Wednesday’s board meeting the remediation could be completed by the end of the year. However, he added that it could take as long as 18 months to get the site ready for business.
Philips, a company that operated in Danville from 1982 until 2011, recently sold the site to Corning for $2 million, according to a deed filed in the Boyle County Clerk’s Office.
Corning, a major manufacturer of glass and ceramics, had a plant at the same site from the 1950s until 1982.
Lassiter emphasized that there is a slim chance the site will be unable to be remediated to legal standards, especially once more extensive tests are performed.
“Let me be clear that there is always the prospect that if something were to be discovered during the course of remediation, the project won’t go forward,” he said.
The cleanup of the Vaksdahl Avenue site has sparked the concern of several public officials and residents since Philips closed the plant in February 2011.
The eastern portion of the property has arsenic and lead soil contamination levels that are higher than normally acceptable levels for residential or commercial properties, according to reports issued by the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Waste Management.
“This has always been a two-part process,” Lassiter said. “(Corning) quickly closed on the property to get control of the property so that remediation ... could commence — quickly.”
Danville City Commission and Boyle Fiscal Court recently approved a total of $500,000 as a “remediation and redevelopment incentive,” the ordinances state.
The provisions of both ordinances require Corning to create 40 jobs by 2014 and 100 jobs by 2022; company officials must remit lost payroll tax revenues plus a 10-percent penalty if they fail to comply with the ordinances.
The state also has awarded the Corning project $7 million in incentives.
Lassiter anticipates Corning not only will meet job targets, but also will exceed them even during the remediation process.
“I can assure you that long before the end of the first-year term, which is June 30, 2014, when we verify job performance, there is going to be well in excess of 100 jobs on site for remediation purposes alone,” he said.
Corning professionals and local officials alike have not stated what type of manufacturing they hope can eventually commence on the site.
Corning’s Harrodsburg plant manufactures Gorilla glass for iPhones.