Is tower clean-up going to local workers?

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - With a $3 million Clean Ohio grant being awarded to the City of Toledo, the removal of asbestos inside the Tower on the Maumee is expected to begin later this year.

Council's Phil Copeland says he wants to make sure local workers are brought on board for that job. "We've got people here that's living here. They have house bills. They got to pay city taxes. They got to pay, and they're not working."

He believes publicly funded improvement projects for Toledo should be performed by Toledo workers. "When you're sending all the money, these guys are going to be making -- like at the Acme Plant and out at Southwyck, that money's going back out of town to these people's hometowns. You can't blame them. That's where they're going to spend their money at."

As both business manager of the local laborers union and a councilman, Copeland says hiring local workers would be the best move to aid the city's budget woes. "The only way you're going to help take care of that deficit, one of the things is revenue. You need revenue coming in to help cut down that deficit."

While he's urging the mayor and the building's owner to address his concerns, Copeland applauds efforts to redevelop the building. "I think it's a good project. I have no problem with the project. I think Toledo needs it, and it's going to help build the downtown up."

The plan is to convert the former Fiberglas Tower into a mixed-use, high-rise, with commercial, residential and office space.