GREENSBORO, NC – (April 11, 2008) – The City of Greensboro will receive $1 million from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help revitalize former industrial and commercial sites in southern and eastern Greensboro, turning them from problem properties to productive community use. Greensboro was one of 209 applicants selected to share in the $74 million grant cycle.
The City will use the “Revolving Loan Fund” grant to clean up sites that are contaminated with petroleum and hazardous substances, said Housing & Community Development Director Andy Scott. These “brownfield” sites must be cleaned up before they are suitable for redevelopment.
“Greensboro has seen a shift away from manufacturing, and that has severely impacted low- and moderate-income families,” Scott said. “As a result, there are more than 500 commercial or industrial sites in these target areas, including abandoned gas stations, dry cleaners and manufacturing facilities. With the help of these funds from the EPA, we can work to clean up these brownfields and start revitalizing these areas.”
In a letter to Mayor Yvonne Johnson, the EPA noted that Greensboro had “submitted an outstanding grant proposal” that included detailed information about the need for brownfield cleanup in the target areas and the positive effect that could result from such cleanup activities.
“The stigma currently attached to the vacant and abandoned manufacturing and industrial properties in the City’s reinvestment areas and corridors has lowered property values, created security and crime issues in adjoining neighborhoods and hindered new investment,” the proposal stated. “Replacing the ‘dead zones’ currently existing in these neighborhoods with new development and needed services will be a large economic boost to the neighborhoods and the larger community.” The proposal cites the potential for decreased health risks, the creation of new jobs, new housing, higher property tax values, and safer communities as specific benefits.
City Manager Mitchell Johnson noted that news of the revolving loan fund grant is a positive step for the continued focus on Greensboro’s economic development. “The award of this grant recognizes the excellent job the City staff members have done in the past to address these issues,” Johnson said. “It also gives us a significant capability to address new problems as we continue to revitalize our community.”
The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of 2,800 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).