Nov 18, 2012

Union City Coalition receives EPA Grant for assessment of brownfield sites

Site Specific Assessment Grant Funds Will Support Redevelopment of Brownfield Sites Contaminated with Hazardous Substances and Petroleum, and Play Key Role in Regional Redevelopment Efforts; Cross-State Grant Collaboration May Be First of a Kind 


UNION CITY--The Union City Coalition (the Coalition) is pleased to announce that it has received a U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Brownfield Site-Specific Assessment Grant, for Brownfield sites in Randolph County, Indiana and Darke County, Ohio. In addition, the Coalition will be holding a community outreach event on Dec. 6 to educate and inform the public about the available grant funds and the grant process. The announcement was made by Monte Poling, City Manager and Economic Development Coordinator for Union City, Indiana and the Grant Manager for the project.

U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment Grants provide funds to inventory, characterize, assess, and conduct planning (including cleanup planning), and community involvement activities related to brownfield sites. The Site Specific grants were awarded in the amount of $400,000 to support redevelopment of brownfields contaminated with hazardous substances, and $200,000 to clean up sites contaminated with petroleum. (Brownfield Assessment Grants do not provide resources to conduct cleanup or building demolition activities; cleanup assistance is available under EPA’s Cleanup or Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) grants).

“Securing the grant and developing a plan of action for carrying it out, as well as working closely with Darke County throughout the process, have played an instrumental role in our ongoing mission to generate economic redevelopment throughout the entire region,” said Poling. “Part of our plan will be to hold the community-focused event on Dec. 6 in order to encourage the kind of awareness and involvement that will lead to revitalization of the brownfield sites, and ultimately for greater economic development potential for all of the communities involved.”

The Union City Community Economic Development Committee (UCCEDC), which serves both Union City, Ohio and Union City, Indiana (located in the respective grantee counties in each state), originally brought forward the concept of partnering to support the UCCEDC’s vision to foster collaboration across the state line that joins the cities. From there, the Union City Coalition formed to lead the brownfield grant effort; the original application for this grant is thought to be the first document ever signed by all three commissioners from each county. The benefits of forming a coalition include increased access to grant assessment resources for communities, and opportunities to access a larger pool of grant funding. A coalition also is able to shift geographic focus to new areas as revitalization needs are identified, and to areas with the greatest need over a given time.

“Working together as coalition partners has proven to be a very effective process for our group,” said Marc Saluk, Economic Development Director, Darke County, Ohio. “Collectively, we will be able to better leverage the grant resources for each of the communities involved than each could have done on their own. We also understand that this particular grant may be the first of its kind issued to a cross-state coalition, and we look forward to collaborating to make the most of the grant dollars for all involved.”

The Coalition also has selected Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. (SME) to manage the grant and to provide brownfield redevelopment consulting services for the Coalition. Under the grant dollars, SME will be available to provide a variety of environmental project services, including environmental site assessments, assistance with brownfield grant writing and grant program management, due care documentation, remedial action plans, remedial closure reports, remediation planning, and asbestos services.

The community outreach event will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the Union City (Indiana) City Hall, 105 N. Columbia St., Union City, Indiana, 47390. Those interested in finding out more about the event, or about the Union City Coalition’s U.S. EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant, should contact Monte Poling at (765) 964-7833 or citymgruc@yahoo.com, or Marc Saluk, 548-3250, or msaluk@darkecounty.com. For more information on the U.S. EPA’s Brownfield Assessment Grants and other brownfield programs, visit http://epa.gov/brownfields.

The UCCEDC is a volunteer group comprised of business leaders, elected officials, citizens, religious leaders, and other dedicated community advocates from Randolph County, Indiana and Darke County, Ohio working together to create an environment for economic growth and community pride in the Union City region. The community’s location on the Indiana-Ohio border gives it the unique ability to leverage business incentives from either state and to draw from the labor pool and quality of life opportunities from both states and both communities.

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