Raimondo, DEM announce $3.7M in brownfield cleanup and redevelopment funds

JANET L. COIT is director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY
JANET L. COIT is director of the R.I. Department of Environmental Management. / PBN FILE PHOTO/RUPERT WHITELEY

PROVIDENCE – Gov. Gina M. Raimondo joined with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management to announce $3.7 million in grants for the cleanup and redevelopment of 10 brownfield sites in eight communities Thursday, including $2.38 million in matching grants under the Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund through the 2016 Green Economy Bond.

“Funding from the Green Economy Bond is helping us transform brownfields into productive spaces that will benefit Rhode Island’s environment and economy and create jobs,” said DEM Director Janet Coit in a statement. “There are hundreds of these former industrial sites scattered across Rhode Island, and it’s crucial that we continue to invest in their cleanup. We are excited to support so many worthy projects and look forward to celebrating their success.”

The Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund was created under the 2014 Clean Water, Open Space, and Healthy Communities Bond.

The governor also promoted her proposed $48.5 million 2018 Green Economy Bond.

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“Vibrant communities attract people and businesses to locate and grow in Rhode Island,” said Raimondo in the statement. “The projects funded by these grants will help move Rhode Island forward by opening up valuable real estate for development, cleaning up contamination, attracting jobs and promoting public health. The investments we are making today will pay dividends for years to come.”

In addition to the projects funded by the state Brownfields Remediation and Economic Development Fund, DEM said it earmarked $442,200 in funds received under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Targeted Brownfield Assessment program for five additional projects, subject to final EPA review and approval.

DEM also said it has set aside approximately $980,000 in loan funds for eight projects under review by the newly established Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank’s Brownfields Remediation Revolving Loan Fund.

Site remediation grant recipients:

  • Farm Fresh RI, 498 Kinsley Ave., Providence: $480,000 for a project to convert a blighted, fire-damaged site into a food and agricultural campus to provide employment opportunities and fresh, local food to the public and surrounding area.
  • Bristol Industrial Park, 500 Wood St., Bristol: Phase III – $453,410 for the continuation of a project to revitalize the industrial park with parking and landscaping.
  • FXF Hydro/Clark’s Mill, Shannon Village Road, Richmond: $429,267 for the removal and cleanup of contaminated soils of property that includes riverfront access to Shannock River to ready the site for rehabbing of existing structures.
  • MSC Realty/Meeting Street, 928 Eddy St., 66 and 80 Seymour St., Providence: $396,000 to support an expansion project of Meeting Street’s campus through new public outdoor recreation facilities for children and families.
  • Residence at Roosevelt, 369 Roosevelt Ave., Central Falls: $185,273 for the revitalization of existing property into affordable housing.
  • Collette, 183 Front St., Pawtucket: $122,592 for the rehabilitation and redevelopment of the park, public garden and 500 feet of bikeway to be incorporated into the Blackstone Valley Bikeway.
  • Pierce Street Properties, 87 and 89 Pierce St., Westerly: $52,160 for the cleanup of a vacant lot in a residential area to eliminate potential exposure to polluted space and to allow restoration of the property.
  • Evolution Mills, 65 Manchester Road, West Warwick: $176,220 in funding to continue ongoing cleanup and restoration of a large mill complex into office, retail and artist spaces with residential areas.

Site assessment grant recipients include:

  • Cove Homes, Frenchtown Road at Route 403, East Greenwich: $33,200 to assess the redevelopment of the site into housing for low-income senior citizens in need of limited services.
  • Tallman Enterprises, 390-392 Pine St., Pawtucket: $46,960 to assess the redevelopment project that includes rehabilitation of the existing buildings to create additional manufacturing, office, retail and residential space.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.