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Grants Boost Brownfield Program
GRAND RAPIDS — The City Commission approved an agreement with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Tuesday for a $500,000 grant to continue its Brownfield Site Assessment Program.
The MEDQ has also awarded the city a $500,000 Clean Michigan Initiative Loan for establishment of a brownfield remediation loan program. The contract for the loan is expected at a later date.
Brownfield designation offers a tax increment financing option to assist developers with the cost of cleaning up under-utilized or vacant industrial and commercial properties that are contaminated and functionally obsolete or “blighted” buildings.
Developers also can claim credit against the Single Business Tax for 10 percent of the cost of their investment.
According to the city, since it started the brownfield program in 1996 with a similar grant from MDEQ, more than 50 brownfield projects have been undertaken, representing $115 million in investments and the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs.
First Ward Commissioner Roy Schmidt lauded the city for the “great” job it has done with the brownfield program over the last eight years and said the additional grant monies will support the continued generation of jobs within the city.
He referred to the city’s brownfield program as “the envy of the state.”
The program has helped enable a variety of development projects over the years, including the