U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to award the city of Jamestown a $200,000 Assessment Pilot Grant, which would allow the city to assess the Chadakoin West and Chadakoin Riverfront Brownfield sites for redevelopment.
Specifically, the grant would allow Jamestown to inventory, characterize, assess and conduct planning and community involvement related to these sites and their potential reuses.
In a letter to the EPA, Schumer said that the Chadakoin West and Chadakoin Riverfront are prime for development, particularly given that they are adjacent to the Jamestown Gateway Train Station.
"Investing in the cleanup of the Chadakoin West and Chadakoin Riverfront Brownfields is smart in the short term for the health of Jamestown residents, and for the long-term revitalization of these sites adjacent to the train station," said Schumer. "I am urging the EPA to award the city of Jamestown with this $200,000 grant to get the planning for cleanup and redevelopment in motion, which will help improve public health and set the sites on track for speedy redevelopment."
Jamestown is seeking funding to the 2014 Brownfield Assessment Grant Program being offered through the EPA. The funding will be utilized to assess priority Brownfield sites as identified through Jamestown's New York State Brownfield Opportunity Area Program and other Brownfield projects.
As a result of these efforts, the city has begun to assess which parcels will most benefit from such assessments. The city intends to utilize the funds from private developers who may be interested in redeveloping high-priority Brownfield sites analyzed through these site assessments.
Through a public input process, Jamestown designated the boundaries of the Brownfield Opportunity Area Program to include both the Chadakoin West and Chadakoin Riverfront study area which are approximately 710 acres and 643 acres in size, respectively. These BOAs encompass the entire Chadakoin River corridor through the city as the Chadakoin River traverses the city from west to east. The NYS BOA Program consists of planning efforts to help alleviate the diverse issues posted by the presence of high concentrations of contaminants on Brownfield sites. The city's BOA program thus far has identified approximately 64 Brownfield, underutilized and vacant sites in the aforementioned study areas.
The USEPA Brownfield Assessment Grant is designed to provide municipalities and community-based organizations with funding assistance to cover up to 100 percent of eligible costs to complete community-wide Phase 1 and Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments. Approval of this grant request will enable Jamestown to address a range of problems posed by the existence of multiple Brownfield sites in the target area and to assess sites contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants.
It will also assist the city in identifying future uses for those areas that currently contain Brownfields by removing barriers to redevelopment as well as facilitating the establishment of public/private-sector partnerships that will help leverage the critical private investment needed to revitalize the city of Jamestown, according to a news release from Schumer's office.