Thrive West Central, the economic development organization for west central Indiana, has been awarded a $400,000 Community-Wide Brownfields Assessment Grant on behalf of the Vermilion County Redevelopment Commission. The grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will help the county identify contaminated sites and brownfields.
Oren (Doc) Sutherlin, vice president of the Vermillion County Redevelopment Commission, says the grant will allow it to expand the scale of its existing Brownfield Elimination Program to cover the entire county. The funding will support efforts to assess and redevelop blighted properties so that they can be brought back onto the tax roll.
“Cleaning up and addressing contamination at Brownfield sites can remove the risk of exposure, protect human health, and improves the safety of the local community. Reusing brownfields can also create new commercial, residential, and recreational opportunities to improve the quality of life for the local community,” said Ryan Keller, executive director of Thrive West Central.
According to Sutherlin, assessing the properties is the first step towards preparing them for redevelopment.
The VCRC says public input is encouraged, and the commission will consider potential reuses for the sites.