City awards contract for brownfields work

Published 6:39 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Washington is a step closer to developing a brownfields assessment program.

During its meeting Monday, the City Council unanimously voted to award a contract to Mid-Atlantic Associates Inc. to develop the program. The cost of the contract would be covered by a grant, according to a city document, which did not specify a contract amount. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the grant.

“It’s a good opportunity. It’s a great opportunity,” Councilman Larry Beeman said moments before making the motion to award the contract.

A brownfield site is any land in the United States contaminated with hazardous waste and identified by the EPA as a candidate for cleanup because it poses a threat to human health or the environment. A brownfield is any property that is abandoned, idle or underutilized because of the threat (real or perceived) of environmental contamination. The brownfields program helps facilitate redevelopment of contaminated land by alleviating liability for prospective developers, thereby simplifying the process of obtaining loans for redevelopment projects, according to a city memorandum written in 2008.

Among possible brownfield sites in the city are the idX/Impressions site (the former Hamilton Beach/Proctor Silex site) on Springs Road, a former agricultural supply business on West Third Street, the former Dr Pepper bottling plant on West Third Street and the Hotel Louise in downtown Washington.
Mid-Atlantic Associates, under terms of the proposed contract, would provide the following scope of work:

  • grant-writing services;
  • property identification and inventory;
  • site characterization and assessment activities;
  • community involvement;
  • cleanup and development planning;
  • cleanup and remediation;
  • grant administration;
  • other brownfields duties not anticipated by the granting agency.

In August, Mid-Atlantic Associates spokesman Darin McClure told the council the city may seek funding for assessments, planning and cleanup projects. At first, the city will seek a $400,000 grant for an assessment project. The grant, if awarded, would start in October 2017, with the grant having a life of three years, according to McClure.

Mid-Atlantic Associates worked with the Town of Williamston to convert industrial sites, wetlands and vacant lands on the Roanoke River into the Williamston Waterfront Redevelopment District, which includes park area and land for redevelopment uses.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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