City of Craig to receive $300K grant from EPA for cleanup, revitalization
For the Craig Press
The City of Craig will receive a $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to advance the cleanup and revitalization of property at priority sites downtown.
The city is one of 151 communities nationwide selected to receive 154 grant awards, which totaled $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment and Cleanup Grant programs.
The grant will be awarded once all legal and administrative requirements are fulfilled.
The funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country, allowing them to assess and clean up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties.
“The City of Craig has identified several key sites where redevelopment will provide great benefits to the community,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “The EPA grant will help identify any existing contamination, facilitate cleanup, and create new economic opportunity in the downtown area.”
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Around 50% of the selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields grants for the first time, and more than 85% are located in or serving small communities.
The city will use the grant funds to inventory and prioritize sites and conduct environmental site assessments at up to 14 properties. The funds will also be used for cleanup and reuse planning and community outreach activities.
Assessment activities will target priority sites in downtown Craig at the intersection of Victory Way and Yampa Avenue, including the Craig Depot and Rail district, former oil services, auto repair and dry cleaner sites, the former K-Mart and Craig Memorial Hospital and a vacant commercial building in the 500 block of Yampa Avenue.
“The City of Craig is very pleased to have received an award of $300,000 from EPA’s Brownfield Community Wide Assessment grant program,” said Mayor Jarrod Ogden. “The grant will help us to leverage many of our unique attributes and assets in order to support positive and healthy growth.
This grant also supports the passion we have to assist those who call Craig home as we look to repurpose building stock in order to create an environment that is ripe for innovation.”
Ogden added that the city acknowledged the EPA’s intention for the grant to support economic development and environmental cleanup by addressing known contamination sources and using this effort as a catalyst for reuse and redevelopment of properties in key areas of the community.
“We are very thankful for EPA’s consideration of this award and look forward to the results of the project,” he said.
Contaminants of concern at these sites include petroleum, hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds. The city intends to reuse these properties and develop critical transportation, utilities and water infrastructure in downtown Craig extending west along Victory Way.
By investing in pedestrian infrastructure, the city also aims to increase walkability in the downtown area, reduce transportation costs and attract a skilled workforce to new business opportunities.
Since the Brownfields program was created in 1995, the EPA has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. Communities participating in the program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving the grant.
This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.
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