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Norwalk getting $200K in DECD money to clean up Webster Lot

Updated 4:31 p.m. with additional information, governor’s comments.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk has been awarded a $200,000 Brownfields Assessment and Inventory Grant by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), according to a press release.

The funds will be used to conduct an environmental assessment of the Webster Lot, located at 55 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, to determine the extent and severity of environmental contamination that was found in previous studies and develop a remedial action plan, the release said. Activities will include environmental cleanup and reuse planning. The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency will develop the reuse plans with community input, in concert with environmental professionals and reuse experts, the release said.

“We applied for these funds in February and are very pleased to be chosen for this award,” Mayor Harry Rilling said in the release. “The planning activities are part of an overall initiative to renew public investment in SoNo, encourage residents and business owners to improve the appearance of their properties, and provide a better quality of life on South Norwalk.”

The Norwalk grant was announced along with 21 others through the state’s Municipal Brownfields Assessment and Inventory (MBAI) Grant Program, which helps cities, towns, and regional development agencies to assess and investigate the reuse of sites that in many cases have been underused or abandoned for decades.

“As Connecticut’s economy continues to grow, more and more of our legacy manufacturing and other brownfield sites are becoming ripe for redevelopment and reuse,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy in a separate press release. Malloy announced the grants at a news conference at a brownfield site in Norwich that was awarded funding as part of a revitalization project of the city’s Shipping Street corridor.

“With the grants we’re announcing today (Wednesday), 21 communities will be able to prepare key sites that are in many cases vacant and blighted for a return to productive uses that will grow jobs and improve quality of life across the state,” Malloy said. “These assessment grants will create a pipeline of larger remediation and redevelopment projects in the near future.”

MBAI was created as a complement to DECD’s larger brownfield grant and loan programs to assist local governments and their development agency partners to begin the process of redeveloping priority brownfield sites, according to the release. 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 MBAI, applicants were 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, the release stated.

For more information about the MBAI program or other state brownfield redevelopment programs, visit www.ctbrownfields.gov.

 

Comments

7 responses to “Norwalk getting $200K in DECD money to clean up Webster Lot”

  1. the donut hole

    For the love of God. It is a parking lot and always will be. If you don’t understand why the state is in financial ruin, then you just need to know that there are hundreds of these useless studies going on all over the state. What a scam.

  2. Norwalk Voter

    Great to know that Norwalk is not stuck in the 1950’s and is willing to explore the feasibility of a mixed-use, transit-oriented development project. Lean forward @donut

  3. the donut hole

    @Norwalk voter? Did you miss the $300k already spent on this at the train station that did nothing? I repeat. Nothing? All they are looking for is contamination in the soil underneath the parking spaces? What the heck does that have to do with a mixed use transit oriented project? Those monies did nothing for business owners to improve the appearance of Monroe street. Read up on this Brownfields scam before you make yourself look more foolish. You obviously have no idea what it is.

  4. J.J.

    “Norwalk has been awarded a $200,000 Brownfields Assessment and Inventory Grant by the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), according to a press release.” Hmm, that sounds familiar? “The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, designated development entity of the City of Norwalk, was awarded a $400,000.00 combined Brownsfield Assessment grant from the United States Enviromental Protection Agency in 2006.” Sure does sound familiar. Ok, now that the 400 g’s has been expended and supposedly phase two has been completed can someone on Norwalks Brownsfield taskforce post the selected 20 sites and those 20 assessments? Doesnt appear that the taskforce has met in nearly six years. Time for an update guys, no? http://www.norwalkct.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/605

  5. anon

    @Chapman what is this for. What will we SEE when this is done. Is this only a study and cleanup or is there more to it then that?

    1. Mark Chapman

      @anon

      We are looking into it as I type this.

  6. John Hamlin

    Unless there’s some goal that no one seems to want to reveal, this just seems like another well intentioned but totally wasteful project — pouring money into “restoring” a parking lot. Huh?

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