The Karg Bros. tannery in Johnstown, which encompasses a widespread area east of Crescendoe Road, East Canal Street and East Fulton Street, shut down in the mid-1990s and was razed nearly 15 years ago.
For years, government agencies have been cleaning up the pollution at the site. Now, the remediation is close to completion. The city is working with the state Department of Environmental Conservation to get rid of remaining pollutants.
Soon, the site will be safe for reuse. Now is the time for Johnstown officials to start making plans for it.
The site is a prime location, and the city should have a specific plan ready before the remediation concludes. The city has talked about turning the site into a recreational park. The site also could be turned into a shovel-ready location for commercial or residential redevelopment.
The city should work on a specific proposal and look into whether it can obtain state or federal grant money to help pay for efforts to reuse the property. The city still has $78,000 remaining in an existing Environmental Restoration Program Grant, and that's great news.
A plan for reuse of the site should be detailed so the potential of this prime real estate can be maximized.
For decades, this site was a major tannery. Now it's time for a new vision and identity for the property.