Avon Lake plans to demolish 100-year-old power plant, redevelop lakefront site

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT
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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WOIO) - The City of Avon Lake will close a 100-year old lakefront power plant and redevelop its 40-acre lakefront site.

The Avon Lake Generating Station along Lake Road operates fewer than 50 days a year, according to a City of Avon Lake media release. About 55 employees who still work at the plant will lose their jobs.

The city said it will work with GenOn Holdings, Inc., the site’s current owner, and its successor to redevelop the 40-acre plant site and acreage south of Lake Road.

GenOn plans to demolish the coal-fired plant remediate the site over the next two to three years, the release said.

The city said it’s committed to repurposing the site for public access and recreational use.

“We’re excited about this remarkable opportunity for a transformative redevelopment for Avon Lake,” said Mayor Gregory Zilka. “This project will open up a prime 40-acre site on Lake Erie to the public, while also allowing us to take a giant step forward in cleaning up our environment and improving the quality of life for everyone in our community.”

The city plans to apply for federal brownfield grants to help clean up the site and redevelop the area, according to the release.

The plant closure is unlikely to affect energy availability or prices. The plant operated only at peak usage times, such as hot summer days when demand for air conditioning spiked.

The city expects to lose property tax revenue from the plant but expects that those losses will be offset by new housing and business development, the release said. They also expect gains from the redevelopment of the 40-acre site.

“The innovative skills of our partners combined with our determination to take advantage of suddenly gaining a half-mile of lakefront land equal a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Mayor Zilka. “We plan to take advantage of it.”

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