Posts Tagged ‘Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center’

EPA Lauds W.Va. Communities for Brownfields Redevelopment Statewide Bringing Economic Benefits While Protecting Public Health

Written by Bonnie Smith on . Posted in Media, News

Six new brownfields projects awarded more than $1.3 million

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (Sept. 11, 2014) Today at West Virginia’s Brownfields Conference the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin recognized six communities who received EPA brownfields grants this year for a total of $1.32 million. Mr. Garvin highlighted many successful brownfields projects and effective redevelopment strategies underway in West Virginia.

“I can’t overstate the importance of brownfields restoration – – which is spurring economic development, revitalizing communities and protecting people’s health and our environment here in West Virginia. and across the country,” Mr. Garvin said “This conference allows us to share successful strategies for redevelopment that can be adopted in other West Virginia communities.”

West Virginia’s 2014 EPA Brownfields grantees and projects recognized are:

1. Don Perdue, executive director and Carol Damron, executive assistant, representing the Wayne County Economic Development Authority receiving a $200,000 assessment grant – to conduct environmental assessments along the U.S. Route 52 corridor to safely manage and market those properties as part of the heartland intermodal gateway.

2. David Bott, community development administrator, on behalf of the City of Morgantown – receiving a $200,000 assessment grant to conduct environmental assessments in the Sunnyside neighborhood, which has historically been the industrial hub of Morgantown – and home to glass plants, power generating facilities, rail lines, machine shops, and other industrial riverfront companies.

3. Dave Clark, New Historic Thomas Steering Committee and Emily Wilson-Hauger of the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, West Virginia representing The City of Thomas receiving a $200,000 grant to conduct environmental assessments of the City’s riverfront and downtown areas hurt by declining industrial and mining activities.

4. Christy Laxton, executive director of the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority, receiving a $200,000 grant to cleanup contamination on the former Lusk Lumber Property in Tralee, a core property in the heart of the Barkers Creek Industrial Park.

5. David Mills, city manager, on behalf of The City of Charles Town which has received $250,000 supplemental revolving loan funds to expand the City’s cleanup activities to the public works yard site, which will soon become the new Evitts Run Conservancy, encompassing recreational green space, public parkland, and stormwater runoff control along Evitts Run Creek.

6. Patty Hickman, Acting Director of Land Restoration for the West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection (W.Va. DEP) which is receiving a $200,000 grant to assess petroleum contaminated sites in Nicholas, Fayette and Raleigh counties. W.Va. DEP is also receiving an additional $70,000 to assess and prepare a remediation plan for a riverfront property at the former TS&T site in Chester.

EPA has invested more than $18 million in brownfields project throughout the state since 1997. West Virginia sites have been reused as commercial sites – – from shipping to shopping – – and also for parks and playgrounds. Communities and non-profit organizations have put EPA’s funding to work in 160 site assessments and 13 cleanups of brownfields properties. Working with many partners, these EPA grantees were able to leverage an additional $60 million.

Point Pleasant to Receive Assistance for Eyesore Properties

Written by Beth Sergent - Daily Register on . Posted in News

POINT PLEASANT — The city of Point Pleasant is about to receive some assistance in developing a plan to deal with distressed and abandoned properties.

The city is one of eight entities in the state approved for the 2014 Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated (BAD) Buildings Technical Assistance Program.

The BAD Buildings Program, which is funded through a grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is a statewide initiative that provides technical assistance and site analysis tools to develop and enhance abandoned/dilapidated buildings programs in West Virginia communities. The program also addresses barriers to identifying, prioritizing and redeveloping BAD buildings.

Luke Elser, the BAD Buildings program manager, said the city receives no money from the program, but what it does receive is free technical assistance needed to deal with abandoned and dilapidated buildings. This assistance is valued at $10,000, an amount that can be used for any matching grant funds the city may obtain for dealing with the properties.

“The program is basically guidance and instruction,” Elser said. “We set up team meetings, train volunteers on the issues of abandoned and dilapidated buildings, how to go out to survey the building and how to prioritize the buildings.”

Elser said many small towns in West Virginia don’t have the money to throw at these types of problems, but the BAD Buildings Program will show residents how to strategically use resources available to them to improve properties by tearing them down or rehabbing them, as well as offering tips on how to deal with property owners, including helping the owners find grant funds or loans to fix their properties.

Prioritizing which properties to focus on will be the job of the team of local residents Elser will help lead. On this team, Elser hopes to see representatives from the city, local businesses, residents, a representative from Main Street Point Pleasant, etc. Elser said this entire initiative will be led by volunteers. Elser said the goal is to have everyone on board and be transparent. He said it’s important the public knows what properties are being looked at for improvement and why.

“Our overall goal is to return properties to productive use,” Elser said. “The community gets to decide what that means to them.”

Elser said some of those possibilities could be turning property into community parks or gardens or using the property for economic development purposes.

“The goal is to take the property and turn it into something beneficial to the community,” Elser said.

This is the first year for the program. Elser will be coming to Point Pleasant in the next few weeks to organize a local BAD Buildings Program kick-off meeting for citizens who wish to participate or have their concerns heard about eyesore properties. When the meeting’s date and time are announced, it will appear in the Point Pleasant Register.

Working on the grant for the city were Mayor Brian Billings, City Clerk Amber Tatterson, City Inspector Jeremy Bryant and City Attorney RF Stein.

BAD Buildings Program Provides Momentum for Eight W.Va. Communities

Written by WVUToday on . Posted in News

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University has awarded eight West Virginia communities with technical assistance grants.

The grants, valued at $10,000 each, are made available through the Brownfields Center’s BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings Program and will enable the grant recipients to address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings within their communities.

The 2014 BAD Buildings Program technical assistance grant winners include the following communities:

• Town of Weston

• Middleway Conservancy Association, Inc.

• City of Kenova

• City of Shinnston

• City of Fairmont

• City of Point Pleasant

• Downtown Wheeling, Inc.

• City of Ronceverte

“The BAD Buildings Program allows the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center to provide technical assistance and expertise to these communities to identify and research their abandoned buildings as well as create redevelopment plans and overcome major obstacles in turning these problem properties into community resources,” said Luke Elser, BAD Buildings Program Manager at WVU. “All of the work will be done in collaboration between local elected officials and community volunteers – everyone will have a voice at the table because everyone is being impacted by these abandoned and dilapidated properties.”

Funding for the BAD Buildings Program is being provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation.

For more information about the BAD Buildings Program or the Northern West Virgnia Brownfields Assistance Center, visit www.wvbrownfields.org. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, located at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy.

The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University has awarded eight West Virginia communities with technical assistance grants.

The grants, valued at $10,000 each, are made available through the Brownfields Center’s BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings Program and will enable the grant recipients to address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings within their communities.

The 2014 BAD Buildings Program technical assistance grant winners include the following communities:

• Town of Weston
• Middleway Conservancy Association, Inc.
• City of Kenova
• City of Wellsburg
• City of Fairmont
• City of Point Pleasant
• Downtown Wheeling, Inc.
• City of Ronceverte

“The BAD Buildings Program allows the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center to provide technical assistance and expertise to these communities to identify and research their abandoned buildings as well as create redevelopment plans and overcome major obstacles in turning these problem properties into community resources,” said Luke Elser, BAD Buildings Program Manager at WVU. “All of the work will be done in collaboration between local elected officials and community volunteers – everyone will have a voice at the table because everyone is being impacted by these abandoned and dilapidated properties.”

Funding for the BAD Buildings Program is being provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation through the WVU Foundation.

For more information about the BAD Buildings Program or the Northern West Virgnia Brownfields Assistance Center, visit www.wvbrownfields.org. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, located at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy.

– See more at: http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2014/02/13/abandoned-buildings-program-to-provide-momentum-for-eight-w-va-communities#sthash.p5yiw9ST.dpuf

Brownfields Renewal: West Virginia Conference Pulls in Bright Minds of Tomorrow

Written by The San Diego Source, Brownfields Renewal on . Posted in Events, Media, News

The West Virginia Brownfields Conference was held in Morgantown in mid-September for a legitimate reason: proximity to higher learning. The conference moves to different areas of the state each year. Having the 8th Annual Conference in Morgantown provided local communities, development professionals and service providers ample networking opportunities.
 
“What happens when we have it in Morgantown, we actually get to attract some different university professors we’ve been collaborating with, we’ve had some students come, also we pull some from the Pittsburgh market,” said Patrick Kirby, the director of the Northern Brownfields Assistance Center. “From developers, with the steel towns in the northern part of the state, and the eastern part of the state. As well as some orchards and other former and industrial stuff out there.”
The conference featured a number of topics, including building demolition and environmental threats. Federal Agencies will also discuss upcoming plans, like the new initiatives brought up by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture.