To read a draft of our new application for an additional Brownfield Grant, go to the City of Augusta’s home page http://www.augustaga.gov under news and events.
Below is an excerpt from our successful 1999 Brownfield Grant Application.
BACKGROUND AND OVERALL GOALS
Augusta-Richmond County is the second largest metropolitan area in Georgia with a population of 205,000. Augusta-Richmond County is home to numerous industrial sites. The target site for this Brownfield Pilot Grant application is Goldberg Brothers Salvage Company in Augusta's Hyde Park section -- a predominately African American, very low-income area.
In 1984, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources conducted a study and found that several of the wells in the Hyde Park area had been contaminated and discovered some toxins in the drinking water. The residents and others felt that leakage from several industrial sites in the neighborhood had caused the toxins.
For more than a decade, Hyde Park residents and other nearby communities have worked to improve their living conditions. However, the multitude of industrial facilities literally, in their back yards has hampered their work. While some of these industrial facilities are inactive, others still operate. At this time, property values in Hyde Park are significantly reduced and crime, drugs and unemployment plague the neighborhood. We view this Brownfields effort as the means to enhancing substantially the overall quality of life in this community.
The overall goal of this Brownfields Redevelopment Pilot project is to develop a plan to assess a Brownfield site, secure funds to clean it, bring industry to the site with an eye toward using the approach on other potential Brownfield sites in Augusta-Richmond County. This project will increase redevelopment and create jobs by encouraging private investments leveraged through education, information and financial incentives produced through the Mayor's Brownfields Commission. The specific subject of this pilot application is Goldberg Brothers' Salvage Company. Once we clean and redevelop the Goldberg site, we will apply the Goldberg Plan toward the redevelopment of other potential Brownfield sites in Augusta-Richmond County.
The major barrier to redeveloping this area is the uncertain liability that may attach to redevelopment and new uses. Another barrier is the cost of environmental cleanup that may render redevelopment financially infeasible in many cases. A means to address the uncertainty will be developed through this pilot.
· Create a Mayor's Brownfield Commission to oversee the project.
· Set-up an inventory and information system on a web-site.
· Complete an environmental assessment and economic feasibility study of the Goldberg Brothers Salvage Company site.
· Create a plan for environmentally cleaning the Goldberg Brothers Salvage Company site.
· Establish a redevelopment plan for the Goldberg Brothers Salvage Company site.
· Develop a public participation plan that will involve community residents in the decision making process to the greatest extent possible.
· Establish a Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund funded by local banks.
· Conduct Brownfields training workshops.
· Document the process for replication in Augusta-Richmond County and elsewhere.
The initial step for this effort is to create a Mayor's Brownfields Commission to oversee the project. The Commission will be modeled after other successful Brownfields redevelopment authorities and will include a revolving loan fund funded by local banks and other sources, as a financing incentive.
Completing an investigation of existing Brownfield sites and placing information on a web-site will be conducted in conjunction with the Hyde and Aragon Park Improvement Committee (HAPIC) and Paine College. Both of these entities have developed experience and expertise in these areas. The inventory will include a brief description of each site with an indication of redevelopment potential.
The Mayor's Brownfields Commission will select an engineering firm to conduct an environmental site assessment and economic feasibility study for the Goldberg site. The firm, retained through a competitive bid process, will work with the Mayor's Brownfields Commission. Their assessment and feasibility study will include statutory cleanup requirements, alternate cleanup remedies and potential reuse options. The cleanup plan options will be developed in conjunction with the County attorney, health department and community stakeholders. The intent is to develop a plan that preserves human health and the environment, while reducing the current threats presented by the Goldberg site. The Mayor's Brownfields Commission will make every effort to include women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the competitive bid process.
Following receipt of clean-up options, the Commission will work with the Chamber of Commerce and commercial realtors to develop financing incentives and marketing strategies for the reclaimed property. The revolving loan fund, Community Development Block Grant funds, tax abatements as provided by state law, and other incentives will be considered as potential options.
Public participation is a key to a successful Brownfields redevelopment strategy in Augusta-Richmond County. One of the initial tasks of the Mayor's Brownfields Commission will be to develop and publish the Augusta-Richmond County Brownfields Public Participation Plan. The plan will be developed in conjunction with HAPIC and Paine College. As with other planning documents, the initial drafts of the plan will be posted on the HAPIC's web site and the City of Augusta’s web site. Citizen stakeholders will have an opportunity to provide comments to the plan electronically and through town hall meetings. Other outreach presentations, seminars and workshops will be conducted throughout the project. The sessions will educate interested parties on how to take advantage of Brownfields redevelopment opportunities. In addition, all public pilot documents will be available for review at the Mary Utley Center and on the HAPIC's web site. These activities will insure unlimited public access to information and participation.
Brownfield Grant Applications
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