The Conway City Council recently signaled its interest in buying the 1.23-acre site of the Conway Scrap Metal Yard at 1110 Spencer St., despite a number of environmental concerns.
In a memo to the council and Mayor Tab Townsell, Scott Grummer, Conway’s community development block grant program manager, proposed an opening offer of $275,000. This figure does not include the cost of environmental remediation, which cannot exceed $50,000 without adjustments being made to the purchasing price, the memo said.
An Environmental Protection Agency assessment of the property conducted on behalf of the city uncovered a number of issues. Grummer said EPA rule changes made last year would require the city to purchase the site before pursuing federal grants to cover remediation costs.
Grummer said the acquisition would give the city access to a large stormwater culvert beneath the property, which could help resolve downtown flooding issues. He said the property could also be developed as a community park or amphitheater, but that such plans were speculative.
The property’s owner, the Rosa M. West Revocable Trust, is being represented by John Jordan, an agent at Legacy Realty Inc. in Conway. Jordan said his client has been looking at properties more than twice the size of the current scrap yard for relocation.
A cost estimate for environmental remediation is expected to be available in July.