FORT COLLINS, CO – The City of Fort Collins has begun the initial phases of the Northside Revitalization project, an Area-wide Brownfield Assessment effort funded through a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that was awarded to the City in late 2015.
Fort Collins was one of 15 communities or counties to receive $4.8 million in Region 8 funding through the EPA’s Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grant competition. More can be learned about the grants at http://www.epa.gov/brownfields/news/
Brownfield sites include properties previously used for industrial or commercial activities that may have been environmentally impacted by such activities as auto repair and servicing; petroleum retail sales and dry cleaning.
The assessment process will allow the City to more carefully examine prospective brownfield sites, and give the community a lens to remove the stigma of contamination from properties that are not impacted or determine if any actual environmental contamination exists.
Because of the diverse nature of brownfield sites, assessments provide much needed confirmation for property owners, lenders, developers and the community at large of potential issues that may impact public or environmental health, or hinder future use or redevelopment in the area. A valuable benefit to property owners is that these environmental assessments complete an important step in obtaining environmental liability protection for their properties.
The City of Fort Collins has kicked off the initial process of site selection and prioritization in partnership with Larimer County and the Downtown Development Authority.
Once a prioritized list of sites is finalized in the Northside Revitalization project area, the City will begin contacting relevant property owners to determine their interest in voluntarily joining the project to receive a no cost Phase I Environmental Site Assessment on eligible properties. The City will also begin conducting public outreach to property owners within the project area to determine if additional properties may be eligible for, and benefit from, participation in this project.
Brownfield sites in Fort Collins may disproportionately impact lower-income areas and discourage revitalization near a vital community resource, the Poudre River. The grant from the EPA helps assure that the City of Fort Collins has the resources to reinvest in these areas to promote public health, social equity, assure water quality, and enhance development in an advisory capacity.
“As a community, Fort Collins is committed to sustainability, systematically and creatively balancing environmental, social, and economic health. This EPA grant is helping us continue that commitment in order to meet the present and future needs of our community,” said Jacqueline Kozak Thiel, Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Fort Collins.
The City recognizes this assessment project as a key component of Northside Revitalization, and hopes the process will restore and enhance the ecology and environmental quality of the area; improve quality of life for residents; strengthen the value and safety of impacted neighborhoods; sustain existing business; and foster new development.
Information regarding specific public information sessions and community forums will be available soon. For more information on the Northside Revitalization project, contact Bonnie Pierce at 970-416-4255.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Bonnie Pierce, Northside Revitalization Project Manager, 970-416-4255, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Rowe, Redevelopment Coordinator, 970-416-2231, email@example.com