Vienna backs plant pitch

VIENNA – Vienna City Council voted unanimously to permit Mayor Randy Rapp to enter into negotiations with Eaves Recycling regarding the Johns Manville property at 2905 Second Ave. in Vienna.

The vote occurred during a special council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Vienna City Building.

Eaves Recycling is the Huntington-based company which has been in charge of the recycling and scrapping efforts at the former Johns Manville plant for some time now, Rapp said.

The vote came after council voted unanimously to enter executive session at 7:02 p.m. Monday, citing real estate matters as the reason for entering the session. The council exited executive session at 7:50 p.m. and announced that no decisions had been made during the session, Rapp said.

Rapp described the process as “ongoing” and said that the negotiation with Eaves Recycling was “another piece of the puzzle.” Council revealed that they are seeking to purchase the entire Johns Manville property, he said.

All of the documents available to the city of Vienna regarding the possible purchase of the Johns Manville property will be provided to the public prior to the purchase of the property, Rapp said. However, they have not yet been released.

“When everything falls into place, there will be the mandatory two readings in city council about the purchase,” Rapp said.

A public meeting will be held between those two meetings, he said. All of the documents regarding the purchase, including results of any reports the city has commissioned, will be released to the public at that time, Rapp said.

“There will be no secrets. You will know all that we do,” he said.

The city plans to use the Johns Manville property as a public area, Rapp said.

Citizens voiced concerns about the amount of money the city has been spending on various property upgrades and purchases recently. Rapp assured citizens that the city has different funds set up within its budget to handle different upkeep and maintenance projects throughout the city.

A laundry list of recent projects and the ways they had been funded was verbally described by Rapp at the meeting in an attempt to alleviate worries. Among the list were the 12th Street sewer lift station, the water tank refurbishing, the 28th Street bridge replacement and the recent purchase of the Goldsmit-Black property on 60th Street to convert into a maintenance garage.

“Everything just seemed to come at the same time,” Rapp said. “It may seem like a spending binge, but we have no choice. These items have to be repaired or replaced,” he said.

Johns Manville is a 33-acre site that operated for 98 years. It opened in 1908 as a Vitrolite glass factory, which began production as the Meyercord-Carter Company in the same year.

In 1952, it became the Johns Manville plant, which operated until 2006 as a manufacturer and marketer of building insulation, commercial roofing, roof insulation and specialty products for commercial, industrial and residential applications.