County Awarded Brownfield Grant to Develop Site

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Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018 6:54 pm | Updated: 6:56 pm, Mon Feb 12, 2018.

LANSING, Mich. -- A vacant, contaminated property in Grayling will be returned to productive use with help from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. A $175,000 grant and a $175,000 loan were awarded to the Crawford County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to protect public health and safety and revitalize a former saw mill, located at 2059 I-75 Business Loop.

The Grayling Agricultural and Educational Center will invest $3.7 million to renovate and reuse an existing building for the Grayling Northern Market. The year-round farmer’s market is expected to create 100 new jobs.

The brownfield grant and loan will help determine whether the old mill’s operations resulted in environmental contamination, and define cleanup needs and costs. Contaminated soil will be removed from the property, and a system will be installed to protect market patrons and staff from harmful vapors in the remaining soil.

The Grayling Northern Market, with space for 66 vendors, brings a focus on healthy, sustainable living to Grayling. Fresh local fruits and vegetables will be available year-round. The GAEC will offer classes and educational programs on healthy eating. The market is within walking distance of downtown and offers direct access to a local bike trail. The energy-efficient building will be surrounded by rain gardens and porous pavement to filter rainwater.

The MDEQ partners with communities to protect public health and the environment and revitalize contaminated property. MDEQ grants and loans pay for environmental investigation and cleanup on brownfield sites. Brownfields are vacant or abandoned properties with known or suspected environmental contamination.

Partnerships between MDEQ and communities have created $4 billion in private investment and 29,000 new jobs over the life of the Brownfield Redevelopment Program. For each grant or loan dollar invested by the MDEQ in protecting residents and the environment, an average of $23 is invested in the state’s economy. When brownfields are redeveloped, property values increase both on the revitalized site and on other nearby properties.

SOURCE: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

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