Carpino, Linares: $$ Will Help Portland Revitalize Blighted & Vacant Site

April 17, 2014

State Rep. Christie Carpino, State Senator Art Linares along with Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has awarded $3,821,000 in grants to 21 communities to advance the development of brownfield sites throughout the state including $200,000 for Portland.

Administered through the state’s Municipal Brownfields Assessment and Inventory Grant Program, the 22 grants announced today will assist cities, towns, and regional development agencies to assess and investigate over 310 acres across 48 sites, allowing the communities to take the vital first or next step toward reuse of sites that in many cases have been underused or abandoned for decades.

The Portland grant of $200,000 will be used for assessing 5.3 acres on three sites adjacent to the Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park for commercial and open space development.

The properties are 222,230, and 248 Brownstone Avenue along the Connecticut River and in close proximity to Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park. They are privately held abandoned former bulk petroleum storage and industrial facilities. Funding will go toward a remedial action plan and cost estimates for cleaning up the properties.

“Cleaning up and remediating brownfield sites and transforming them into useful pieces of property is an immense benefit to a small community like Portland,” said Rep. Carpino.

“This funding will allow Portland to move forward with key redevelopment efforts at several sites,” said Sen. Art Linares, who wrote letters to state officials in support of the funding. “We want to see our vacant, underused and blighted sites put back to productive use. The focus on multiple parcels here in Portland is good for our environment and for our economic future. We appreciate this grant from the State.”

The municipal grant program was created as a complement to DECD’s larger brownfield programs to assist local governments and their development agency partners to begin the process of redeveloping priority brownfield sites. Prior to redevelopment of a brownfield or suspected contaminated site, environmental assessments are often required to provide more information to potential redevelopers about the site’s environmental conditions.

Under the program, applicants are eligible to receive grants of up to $200,000 to fund investigation and other pre-development activities to prepare sites for future development and reuse.

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee said, “These investments in brownfield assessments are the critical first step toward redevelopment of these valuable lands. By putting these properties back into productive use we can take advantage of existing infrastructure, protect public health and the environment, and reduce development pressure on our undeveloped lands.”