City of Laramie Receives EPA Grant For Property Redevelopment, Assessment
The City of Laramie was chosen to receive a $300,000 grant to support efforts at revitalizing Laramie’s oldest neighborhoods in west Laramie.
Laramie was among 172 organizations across the country chosen by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency to receive the funding for brownfield site revitalization efforts.
Danny Heffernan, EPA regional Brownfields representative, said brownfields sites are property where development is hindered by some form of contamination, whether real or perceived.
“Brownfields have a number of different impacts on local communities and on the economy,” Heffernan said. “They can range from everything from just general blight and causing disinvestment to causing health concerns, so it really has a wide ranging impact.”
Heffernan said the brownfield grants allow communities to look at the sites and determine if they have any concerns and see what types of future uses the sites can have.
Heffernan said EPA Brownfields grants are highly selective.
“It’s a national competition that we issue a solicitation once a year and only about one out of every three applications nationally gets selected,” Heffernan said. “Only the absolute top projects are selected.”
Heffernan said the EPA has been providing brownfield grants for about 20 years. He says Laramie is not the first Wyoming location to be a recipient.
“In Wyoming alone we have had great partnerships in Evanston, Sheridan, the City of Cheyenne, Casper - in fact we have a number of ongoing projects right now that are very exciting,” he said. “We have had a lot of great results and we are looking forward to good things with the City of Laramie.”
Heffernan said the City of Laramie has identified potential projects on its west side and will work with local community and local property owners to decide where they want to focus their efforts.
The EPA distributed a total of $56.8 million to recipients to redevelop vacant and unused properties.