HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy announced last week that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is now accepting applications for a second round of grant funding under a recently created state grant program that is designed to help local entities create plans for remediating and redeveloping clusters of blighted properties – also known as “brownfields” – within a community.
Established in 2015 by a unanimous, bipartisan vote of the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Malloy, the Brownfield Area-Wide Revitalization (BAR) Planning Grant Program encourages communities to consider for redevelopment areas of municipalities such as neighborhoods, downtowns, waterfront districts, or other sections that contain multiple parcels of brownfields. Under the terms of the program, up to $1 million is being made available to eligible entities to help develop strategies that will assess, clean up, and reuse the blighted parcels for business, housing, and public amenities with the goal of generating jobs, spurring revenue, and revitalizing the entire area. Local governments are able to create long-range plans for the prioritization of multiple sites.
“Connecticut continues to be a national leader in brownfield remediation, having cleaned up hundreds of sites and put them back to use for people to live, work and raise their families,” Governor Malloy said. “These strategic investments have brought new life to our communities and resulted in the creation of more than 3,000 permanent jobs and over 15,000 construction jobs in the state.”
“Our state’s comprehensive approach to the remediation and revitalization of brownfields has shown to have a substantial impact on communities across the state,” DECD Commissioner Catherine Smith said. “For every dollar the state has invested in brownfield redevelopment, non-state partners have invested or will invest $11.41. Since 2012, the State of Connecticut has invested more than $225 million in brownfield redevelopment, spurring economic growth and allowing dilapidated land to be put back into use.”
“Brownfields Area Revitalization grants are an investment that will allow communities burdened by contaminated properties to consider the best way to turn them into community assets” Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert J. Klee said. “These grants will provide an incentive for our cities and towns to look beyond the cleanup of a specific site – to carefully consider how multiple sites in a given area can be put back into reuse in a way that best benefits the surrounding neighborhood, redeveloping in a sustainable manner and leveraging past significant investments in water, sewer, transportation, and energy infrastructure.”
BAR project areas can either be already designated areas such as a neighborhood, district, corridor, downtown, or waterfront zone – all with multiple brownfields – or an area newly defined by the applicant with multiple brownfield sites connected by blighted conditions, shared infrastructure, and other economic, social or environmental considerations.
The first round of funding under the BAR program was awarded in January 2016 to redevelopment projects within six municipalities, including East Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Old Say Brook, Torrington, and Waterbury. The projects are being used for multiple purposes, such as the development of retail, arts, and cultural plans around transit-oriented development districts, and the renovation of multiple parcels of properties within a downtown neighborhood.
Applications for the second round of funding under the program are now being accepted and must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. To learn more about BAR and access the application, visit www.ctbrownfields.gov.
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