Talks are on tap later this month between Navistar and Chatham-Kent officials over the future of the company's 68-acre site on Richmond Street.
Mayor Randy Hope told The Chatham Daily News Monday the municipality will insist the company pay for an environmental cleanup of the property.
"We intend to make certain that Chatham-Kent taxpayers not get stuck with the bill,'' he said.
Hope said the company will be asked to ensure the property be left suitable for future use that will benefit the municipality and help create new employment opportunities.
CAW national president Ken Lewenza, speaking in Chatham last week, also called on Navistar to not abandon its responsibility to municipal taxpayers by not picking up the tab to have the site cleaned up.
He said the company had already abandoned its Chatham-Kent workforce by officially closing the plant in 2011 and moving production to the U.S.
Navistar recently invited companies interested in demolition of the plant to tour the facility and submit proposals.
Hope said no demolition permits will be issued until an agreement involving site cleanup has been signed.
The company employed as many as 2,200 workers in the late 1990s in the manufacture of highway trucks.
The plant was idled in 2009 when a new collective agreement could not be reached between the Chicago-based company and the CAW.