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PLEX progress

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City of Rochester officials say that they want residents of the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood to know that they haven't forgotten about a large brownfield redevelopment project along the Genesee River.

In February, the city submitted an application to the state seeking additional funding for the Vacuum Oil Brownfield Opportunity Area. The funding would be used to help pay for investigation, clean up, and reuse of the 58-acre site. The 24-acre Vacuum Oil site on Flint Street would be a particular focus of those efforts.

"We're still very focused on the area," Mark Gregor, the city's manager of environmental quality, told residents at a PLEX neighborhood meeting last week.

The Vacuum Oil BOA includes publicly- and privately-owned properties along the Genesee River's west bank between the Ford Street bridge and the former railroad bridge that connects to the University of Rochester's campus, according to the city's website.

The city has also applied for state funds to design and construct a natural play area to replace a playground on Exchange Street, said Kimberly Baptiste of Bergmann Associates, the city's consultant for the BOA. That application is passing through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and officials expect to get word about the grant in December. City officials will pursue additional grants for projects in the BOA, Baptiste said.

The City of Rochester and the PLEX neighborhood spent more than a year developing a master plan for the Vacuum Oil site and the surrounding community. As the redevelopment effort progresses, the plan will result in as many as 17 projects, Gregor said.

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