The City of Douglas was awarded EPA's Brownfields Assessment Grant which is intended to provide funding for brownfield inventories, planning, environmental assessments, and community outreach.
EPA Brownfields Program
The momentum generated by the EPA Brownfields Program is leaving an enduring legacy. The program has provided guidance and incentives to many municipalities across the nation in support of economic revitalization. EPA’s Brownfields Program empowers states, communities, and other stakeholders to work together to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields. EPA has awarded the City of Douglas a brownfields assessment grant. Grant funds will be used to conduct due diligence activities, as well as identify broad brownfields. A brownfield site is real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant.
Assessment Grant Awarded to Douglas
$100,000 for hazardous substances
$200,000 for petroleum
To ensure that the limited funds available are leveraged most effectively, the City of Douglas has identified that the brownfield grant should be targeted to areas that provide support to redevelopment opportunities that will diversify employment and housing in the community. Specifically, the following areas will receive priority focus:
- The Riverfront
- Connections between these two areas
What are eligible uses of an Assessment Grant?
Grants provide funding for:
- Inventorying, characterizing, and assessing sites to determine to the presences or absence of contamination
- Identification of redevelopment sites
- Redevelopment Planning to identify feasible land uses
- 3D Visualization to generate understanding about opportunities
- Cleanup Redevelopment Planning
- Community Engagement
The City has enlisted a partner in this effort, the United States Environmental Protection Agency or EPA. The EPA has a national program that provides communities such as ours, grant support to address redevelopment goals and plans that may be hindered in areas where historic activities have left behind remnants of contamination. Those remnants may have been left by: Old Rail Yards, Blacksmith Shops, Obsolete Industrial Plants, Laundry Operations, and Manufacturing Facilities.
What does this mean for Douglas Residents?
This is truly a community project and participation, questions, and open discussion are vital to its success. All types of interest and participation are anticipated and some of the rewards are highlighted below. There will be a number of public engagement opportunities throughout the project’s lifecycle. Continue to check this webpage for project related updates and information on how to get involved.
- Quality Place – Improve the vitality of downtown and create connections to adjacent neighborhoods.
- Improved tax base – Putting new businesses on vacant land.
- Economic gain – Surrounding neighborhoods often increase in value when these areas are improved.
- Increased tourism – In areas that may not currently be attractive.
- Health of the environment – Cleaning up areas of contamination.
- Safer Neighborhoods – Areas that are rundown attract crime, rehabilitation brings safer neighborhoods.
- Community Pride – It’s a place people want to be.
The City of Douglas recently kicked off the project with Ayres Associates on February 1, 2019. This project will be a multi-year process and is anticipated to run through the Spring of 2022.
If you own a property that might be a good candidate for this project, or if you would like more information, contact Clara Chaffin.
For more information, please contact:
City of Douglas – Clara Chaffin, (307) 358-2132
Ayres Associates – Jeff Steiner, firstname.lastname@example.org