City to discuss new brownfield assessment grant process

A new federal grant program that will help owners, developers and those in real estate identify environmental problems on property is being rolled out this weekend.

City officials will discuss funding availability from a $400,000 brownfield assessment grant at a meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday in the basement of Blackerby’s Hangar 5 restaurant at the Columbus Municipal Airport.

The grant, awarded through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, will offer information about how the city may use the grant received in 2015 to pay for assessment of local properties that could be contaminated by hazardous materials.

Robin Hilber, community development programs coordinator for the city, said the sites are defined as being underutilized or abandoned properties in which future development is complicated by the perception or presence of environmental contaminants. The grant can only be used in two designated areas — downtown Columbus and the State Street corridor — to help pay for the development of a remediation plan at sites where contamination is found, Hilber added.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or mkent@therepublic.com