BDC Purchases Former Follansbee Steel Site for Future Redevelopment

Written by Staff Reporters, The Weirton Daily Times on . Posted in Media, News

FOLLANSBEE — The former Follansbee Steel location has been shuttered for four years, but it’s about to get a whole new look.

The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle closed on the property for more than $1.3 million Thursday and have awarded a contract for the brownfield remediation assessment to Civil Environment Consultants of Export, Pa., according to BDC Executive Director Pat Ford.

Ford said the West Virginia Economic Development Authority granted a $1.3 million loan for the purchase and the Northern West Virginia Brownfield Assistance Center awarded a $12,500 grant for a boundary survey and Phase 1 environmental assessment required for the loan.

Jim Andreozzi, Brooke County Commissioner and BDC executive board member, said the site “has some environmental concerns and the BDC will undertake a process of remediating it. And now, we have an opportunity to put it back to use. For over four years, the site has been vacant. Now, we’re planning for an end use that will have people working on the site again. That has been the mission of the BDC and Brooke and Hancock county commissions over the past five years, to reclaim B.A.D. — brownfield, abandoned and dilapidated — properties, develop them and put people back to work on these properties.”

BDC and Brooke County officials visited the site Thursday to discuss future plans. Ford envisions selling parcels to two to three new businesses, possibly in the energy, metals or transportation industries.

“The reason why (the property) is so valuable to us — so valuable to the Northern Panhandle — is its access: river, rail and highway,” he said.

Follansbee City Manager John DeStefano said he was aware the purchase was pending and is pleased to hear it’s complete.

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Chester Talks Riverfront’s Future

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Media, News

CHESTER — Now that construction has begun on the Rock Springs Business Park, the city of Chester is getting some outside help with what to do with the rest of the riverfront.

About a dozen Chester officials, residents and business owners met Thursday with a team from the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Riverlife to brainstorm about the riverfront’s future.

But first they came up with a list of words to describe the riverfront as it appears today — “sloppy,” “uninviting,” “inaccessible,” “underutilized,” “underappreciated,” “wild,” “green,” “beautiful,” “overgrown,” “steep” and “priceless.”

Then they answered two more questions: “How would you describe your ideal riverfront? What are the biggest impediments to riverfront development?” — and posted the words on a board.

“I’m really encouraged that half this board is positive. It speaks to what could happen in the future,” said Nina Chase, Riverlife senior project manager.

Chase and Riverlife Vice President Jay Sukernek said their goal was to leave Chester on Thursday with a list of next steps toward the implementation of a riverfront project.

“Trying to find out what works for the community is really important,” Sukernek said. “There’s a big difference between downtown Pittsburgh and downtown Chester.”

Some of the groundwork for such a project already has been laid, starting with the 2011 acquisition of the old Taylor, Smith & Taylor pottery site by the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.

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FY17 EPA Guidelines for Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants Now Available

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Funding, News

The EPA brownfields assessment and cleanup grants were made available on October 13, 2016. Successful applicants can use the grants to empower communities to prevent, inventory, assess, clean up, and reuse brownfield sites. To view the guidelines and download applications, please visit the EPA’s Grants and Funding website.

Applications are due December 20, 2016.

To assist applicants with their proposals, EPA will host the EPA National Assessment and Cleanup Guideline Webinar; tentatively scheduled for the first week of November 2016. Please visit the EPA Brownfields Grant Funding website for the final date.

The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers will be assisting communities with the submittal of these EPA Brownfields Grants. Please contact us if you have plans to submit a grant application, need grant assistance, grant review, or have other questions about this opportunity.

View the Guidelines

Funding Opportunity: BDC of the Northern Panhandle Accepting Proposals

Written by Andrew Stacy on . Posted in Funding, News

The Business Development Corporation is accepting letter of interest (LOI) for the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Brownfield Assessment Coalition Project for Hazardous Substances and Petroleum. The project area is Brooke and Hancock counties in West Virginia and Jefferson County in Ohio. The deadline to submit an LOI is 1:00 PM on Friday, October 14, 2016.

Submit LOIs to:
Michael Paprocki, Executive Director, BHJ Metro Planning Commission
124 North 4th Street, 2nd Floor
Stuebenville, OH 43952

Read the full RFP here. For questions regarding this notice, please contact Michael Paprocki at (740) 282-3685.