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O’Reilly Hospitality Management’s planned boutique hotel site has been preapproved for brownfield funding.
SBJ photo by Geoff Pickle
O’Reilly Hospitality Management’s planned boutique hotel site has been preapproved for brownfield funding.

EPA awards city $300K for brownfield sites

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday awarded the city of Springfield $300,000 to clean up contaminated brownfield sites.

The funding is part of $6.9 million awarded nationwide to 25 Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grantees, according to a news release from the EPA. The funds will be used to reuse vacant and abandoned properties, opening them up for community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, health facilities, social services and commerce opportunities.

Olivia Hough, the city’s senior planner and brownfields coordinator, said the city is currently accepting applications for new projects. One project that has been preapproved is O’Reilly Hospitality Management LLC’s The Moxy hotel. The project, at 430 South Ave., is in the design phase. Hough said a loan amount has yet to be determined, pending a bid to remediate lead paint and asbestos.

The grant brings Springfield’s RLF fund to more than $1 million, Hough said. The grants provide low-interest loans to private companies for environmental remediation, as well as sub-grants to nonprofit organizations.

“Brownfields incentives are often the first step in breathing new life into abandoned, contaminated and blighted properties,” Hough said in the release. “Springfield’s long-standing partnership with the EPA to fund environmental cleanups has resulted in far-reaching and long-lasting benefits to improve the health, safety and economic conditions in our community by removing hazardous waste, adding many acres of greenspace, creating jobs, and repurposing strategically located properties that utilize existing infrastructure and preserve cultural assets.”

During the past decade, the city of Springfield’s RLF has committed $2.2 million to nine cleanup projects, leveraging $58 million in investment, according to the release. Projects included the History Museum on the Square, two affordable housing projects, Fairbanks Community Center and Jordan Valley West Meadows.

“Every community receiving additional funding today from EPA has opportunity zones within their jurisdiction, meaning these cleanup activities at local brownfield sites will not only address legacy contamination, but also spur new economic opportunities where they are needed most,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, in the release.

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