Influx of EPA money looks to clean up portions of southern Idaho
Michelle McFarlane with Region IV development says it’s a very helpful grant
SOUTHERN IDAHO (KMVT/KSVT) — Scenes of abandoned warehouses, or pieces of land that have been neglected are an all too common sight nationwide.
“We’ve noticed or we’ve seen throughout, starting in the 90′s, how there’s properties that the redevelopment, the reuse, or the expansion of it is complicated to like a presence of pollutants,” said Meshach Padilla, a spokesperson for the EPA.
The Environmental Protection Agency wanted to change that with their Brownfields Program, a federal grant program that helps with the cleanup of these locations to reuse them for more productive space.
“Instead of having that there, we can have something much better, “ said Padilla. “Like a grocery store to a community center.”
Just how much money will be coming to south-central Idaho though? Michelle McFarlane with Region IV development says it’s a very helpful grant.
“This will bring $750,000 to the community that we can lend to property owners,” McFarlane told KMVT.
Where will the funds be going? McFarlane says a lot of the properties they’re looking at are still in the assessment phase. “You have to do a couple different assessments to be able to identify on a property if there is contamination.”
According to a press release we received from the EPA, potential sites would be the former Globe Seed and Feed Warehouse in Twin Falls, Keck’s Plumbing and Salvage in Jerome, and the Jerome tire yard.
If locations are deemed to have contamination, the money will be allocated to the property owner.
“These loans can help those property owners pay to have the properties cleaned up,” said McFarlane.
McFarlane says the benefits would be great for the entire region. “Not only can it help city and county tax base because we’re taking properties that are blighted and not being reused and helping with that reuse, but it can also help with public health and safety,” she said.
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