The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced on Monday, July 5 that the City of Bloomer will receive a grant through the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies program.
The DNR awarded the Brownfields grant to the city of Bloomer which provides contractor services worth up to $35,000 for eligible areas. The DNR awarded the grant for a 10-acre property on the north side of the city on 190th Avenue.
The 10-acre property, located at 8555 190th Ave. in Bloomer, Wis., was the site of an agricultural cooperative from 1974 to 2004. Environmental contamination was discovered at the property during the 2000s.
The City of Bloomer acquired the former Bloomer Co-op Feeds property through a county tax deed according the City Administrator, Sandi Frion.
The property did go through some environmental testing in 2009 however it was not completed. Recent interest in the property for development pushed city officials to apply for the DNR Brownfields grant.
“Local officials will have the opportunity to market this property—located in an established industrial park—once they get more information regarding the contamination,” said Jodie Peotter, DNR Brownfields, Outreach and Policy Section Chief, Remediation and Redevelopment Program. “The city has already seen interest in the property.”
The grant money will be used to start the environmental testing process over to find out the levels and types of contamination as well as how wide spread it is on the property. They will also determine the type of clean-up needed to put the land back into productive use.
“Obtaining more information about the extent of the contamination is an important step toward repairing the site and finding a potential buyer,” Peotter said. “With the DNR’s assistance, Bloomer officials have the opportunity to put this land back into productive use.”
Once the contamination is properly identified and the clean up process determined the City of Bloomer plans to seek help from other entities for the clean up process and tearing down of the buildings on the property.
Wisconsin Assessment Monies
Since 2009, the DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies program has provided more than $2.7 million to 67 communities across Wisconsin, partnering to help clean up and redevelop often run-down or underused properties that detract from a community’s potential.
The DNR’s Wisconsin Assessment Monies program awards provide communities with professional environmental site assessments of properties with known or perceived contamination. The program is funded through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) brownfields assessment grant.
Participation in the program requires minimal effort by local governments. Because there is no local financial match, the program is an attractive opportunity for communities to learn about environmental conditions. In many instances, the program awards are leveraged with other funding sources to kick-start repurposing efforts on properties underutilized for many years.
Applications for Wisconsin Assessment Monies program assistance may be submitted at any time. The DNR uses the program funding to assess brownfields throughout the state, concentrating on industrial sites and closed or closing manufacturing plants. The awards are also made available to brownfields that may not have had a history of manufacturing but are in rural areas, racially diverse communities or economically disadvantaged areas.