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Columbia City receives EPA brownfield assessment funds

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (April 23, 2010) – The City of Columbia City was informed this week that it has been selected to receive $400,000 in community-wide brownfield assessment grant funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The $200,000 hazardous substances and $200,000 petroleum grants will provide the City with resources needed to assess brownfield areas and to determine the appropriate cleanup to reclaim these sites for redevelopment.

“On behalf of the entire City leadership, I am extremely proud that Columbia City was selected to receive assessment grant funding,” said Columbia City Mayor Jim Fleck, “These grants will provide a much-needed catalyst to promote the redevelopment of brownfield sites throughout Columbia City.”

The Whitley County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) worked closely with the City and grant writer Partners Environmental Inc. to prepare the EPA brownfield assessment grant application. In addition, the EDC is working with prospective buyers interested in redevelopment of known or perceived brownfields in Columbia City.

“Much of economic development is about risk minimization, so these grant awards will do much to reduce perceived risks of existing brownfield sites,” said EDC President Alan Tio, “Our end goal is to help prospective buyers to be confidant in growing their businesses and supporting redevelopment in Columbia City.”

In a statement earlier this week, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said, “”To strengthen our economy, we must first strengthen our communities. Cleaning up and revitalizing these contaminated sites opens doors to new businesses, new homes and new jobs for American workers while making our environment cleaner and the community healthier. This shows that what is right for the environment is right for the economy.

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Media Contacts: 

Mayor Jim Fleck (Columbia City) – 260.248-5111
Alan Tio (Whitley County EDC) – 260.244.5506
Tim Hill (Partners Environmental) – 317.805.4830

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