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Higgins: $450,000 toward economic development in Niagara County

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Fri, Oct 4th 2019 08:35 am

Niagara County awarded EPA grant to revitalize brownfield sites for new uses

Congressman Brian Higgins announced Niagara County has been awarded $450,000 in federal funding through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grant Program. Brownfield sites are properties, often previously used for industrial purposes, where reuse may be difficult due to site contaminants.

“Western New York has a rich industrial history but, over the years, as companies closed their doors with the changing economy, communities in Niagara County and elsewhere were left with the contaminated remnants,” Higgins said. “This federal funding provides the community with resources to remediate these properties, preparing the sites for new use that meets the needs of today’s economy.”

The federal funding will be used toward Niagara County’s Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Fund, which makes loans available for the remediation of brownfields to facilitate sustainable reuse. Loans are provided for up to a five-year term at interest below market rate. The Niagara County Program, which has been in place since 2008, has successfully supported the cleanup and reuse of sites across Niagara County.

Niagara County Economic Development Committee Chairman and 8th District Legislator Richard Andres stated, “The county’s RLF program has directly impacted my hometown of North Tonawanda by providing loan funds to 600 River Road, which was remediated by Rock One Development and is being developed into a $20 million housing complex right on the Niagara River waterfront. RLF funding is also being used at 211 Main St., to rehabilitate a vacant building into first-class professional office space.”

“Niagara County has been a leader in brownfield efforts and the fact that we were awarded another grant from the federal government demonstrates our commitment and progress towards remediating brownfield sites,” said Niagara County Brownfield Program Manager Amy Fisk. “Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment helps revitalize the local economy and results in a cleaner environment and better quality of life for Niagara County residents.”

The goal of the Brownfields Cleanup Revolving Loan Program is to leverage public and private funds to redevelop sites and create jobs. Additionally, the program opens brownfield sites for new opportunity, lessening the demand on outlying greenfield properties.

For more information visit: https://www.niagaracountybusiness.com/brownfields.asp.

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