City Set to Assume Ownership of Dico Site, Open Door to Potential Development


Dico Site MapDES MOINES, IOWA – Thursday, September 10, 2020 – The City Council on Monday, September 14 will vote on joining a consent decree that, if approved by the Court, will result in transfer of ownership of the former Dico property near downtown Des Moines to the City of Des Moines. The agreement is between the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Dico, Inc., Titan Tire Corporation, Titan International, Inc., and the City.

The agreement settles the longstanding environmental dispute on the property between DOJ/EPA and the Dico/Titan entities and provides for the removal of buildings, remediation of a pond and installation of a replacement upgraded groundwater treatment system.  The agreement represents the best opportunity to improve the site’s blighted conditions and position the property for economic viability.

“This agreement is greatly appreciated and will allow our City to begin the important step toward the positive redevelopment of this property,” said Mayor Frank Cownie. “Working with our partners at EPA, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, we are hopeful development will be a possibility in the future to significantly enhance the southern edge of downtown.”

The former Dico, Inc. manufacturing site is a 43-acre parcel of land located south of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway and east of the Raccoon River. According to the EPA’s Superfund website, Dico’s operations included steel wheel manufacturing and chemical and pesticide formulation.

According to EPA, operations at the property resulted in the release of harmful chemicals and metals into the soil, buildings, drainage areas and groundwater. In 1983, the EPA placed the property on its list of Superfund sites requiring long-term response to clean up hazardous material contaminations.

“Protecting human health and restoring contaminated sites to productive reuse are at the heart of the Superfund program,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Jim Gulliford. “This agreement provides for the long-term protection of Des Moines’ drinking water supply, and provides an opportunity for the city to develop the property into a community asset.”

“Titan International, Titan Tire Corporation, and Dico share the desire of federal, state, and local government officials to see the Dico site returned to productive use, while also resolving once and for all more than two decades of litigation relating to the property,” said Titan President and CEO Paul Reitz. “As a major employer in the Des Moines Metro area, Titan Tire Corporation is particularly glad to be part of an agreement that, if approved, will give the City the opportunity to move forward with redevelopment.”

The Des Moines City Council will address joining the consent decree at their meeting on Monday, September 14. You may connect to the 4:30 p.m. meeting via a Zoom connection found at the City’s Council Meetings and Agendas web page.

Details about the consent decree are outlined in Council Communication No. 20-389 for the Dico consent decree agenda item.  


Al Setka
Communications Manager, City Manager’s Office 
(515) 283-4057

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