Spicy Basil, Golden Cavvy — among others — potential targets for EPA grant funding
The city has identified the buildings of the former Spicy Basil and Golden Cavvy restaurants as potential locations for Environmental Protection Agency grant funding received earlier this year.
In May, the EPA awarded $300,000 for an assessment grant to the city of Craig. This money can be used to inventory, characterize, assess, conduct a range of planning activities, develop cleanup plans, and conduct community involvement in what the EPA calls “brownfield sites.” A brownfield is any site or development that could be complicated by the presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. They can include commercial and residential structures.
Shannon Scott, economic development director for the city of Craig, said that several potential locations have been identified as locations of interest — including the sites of the two former restaurants — but as of Dec. 9, walk-throughs with Brownfields Assessment Consultants had been conducted at various sites around the city. Essentially, Scott said, consultants will visit each site to assess potential contaminants, and grant money will then be used to solve any issues surrounding the contaminated site or sites.
“We’re working on potential sites,” Scott said on Tuesday evening. “A couple of those sites include the Golden Cavvy and the Spicy Basil. Some other sites of note would be the Train Depot and a couple of gas stations around town. So $300,000, again, is to go in and kind of assess those sites, see if they have contaminants, remediate those, and then we’ll go on to phase two.”
Scott said that by using grant funding for clean-up, future developers will not have to worry about the costs that come with removing contaminants. The EPA has targeted some locations as potential options as well as the state, but there are no specific zones or locations as to where in Craig that the location has to exist. As long as the location is within city limits, it counts, she said.
“It’s just an assessment to go in and see what or if there’s types of environmental remediation that they can do,” she said. “But essentially, the goal ultimately is to get in and help remediate these so that if somebody comes in and purchases it, they don’t have to take on the burden of having to, you know, abate asbestos or clean up a gas spill or something like that.”
As long as the current owner gives permission to assess the buildings during phase one, Scott added, there will be no cost up front to them or future owners when it comes to clean-up costs.
“When they first proposed the project, it was to help to entice developers to look at an owner’s property and possibly benefit from the whole process, which will include concept renderings, what that property could be, as part of their process,” city manager Peter Brixius said. “It gets into kind of an artistic process at the tail end as part of the $300,000 grant. In addition to the phase one and potentially a phase-two site remediation, there is that concept piece that an owner can agree to, and then they can market that if they have the property for sale. We can market that to buyers, and hopefully they’ll see the benefit from it.”
Brixius said that this particular grant is difficult to obtain, and it’s common for applicants to be denied the first time. The grant also lasts longer than most other traditional grants, he said.
“Every grant has a deadline,” Brixius said in a phone interview Thursday. “Generally it’s one to two years. This grant is unique in that it has a work plan for three years.”
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