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$820,000 Grant to Benefit East Austin

Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office transforms contaminated land.

Austin Texas Recovery ResourcesAUSTIN, TEXAS – The City of Austin has been selected to receive an Environmental Protection Agency grant, which will fund the cleanup of contaminated properties through a revolving loan program with an emphasis on East Austin. The grant is for $820,000 and will be administered by Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office, an Austin Resource Recovery program started in 1998.

Brownfields are abandoned, idle or underutilized properties where revitalization is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. Today there are hundreds of identified brownfields in East Austin, a result of the 1928 Koch and Fowler City Plan which included weak zoning restrictions in the East Austin district. These weak restrictions allowed industrial facilities such as power plants, fuel tank farms and cement plants, to operate throughout the district.

Brownfields Revitalization funds can be loaned to a public or private entity or groups developing or redeveloping property that will provide a public benefit (E.g.: will provide local jobs or meet a community need). The terms will be very favorable and flexible and the loans will be available as early as December 2016.

We are honored to be selected for this highly competitive grant and are excited about this opportunity! This new funding source can be used to clean up contaminated properties so they can be redeveloped into parks, playgrounds, affordable housing and many other community projects,” said Bob Gedert, Director, Austin Resource Recovery.

This grant money will allow Austin Brownfields Revitalization Office to provide loans that most banks would not and to provide gap funding until the cleanup is over.  Because these loans are interest only payments until the cleanup is completed, borrowers can be up and running before repayment of the principal is needed. Also, it will be easier to go to banks for a traditional loan once any environmental issues are resolved.

This revolving loan fund grant means we will now be able to assess properties, clean contamination and remove barriers to community redevelopment. Helping facilitate land recycling is just one way we are responding effectively to the high expectations of our community,” said Christine Whitney, Brownfields Revitalization Office Manager.

Interested property owners or prospective purchasers who have discovered contamination at a site should apply for a brownfields cleanup loan online at AustinTexas.gov/Brownfields or contact Christine Whitney at 512-974-6085
for more information.

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Austin Resource Recovery provides a wide range of services designed to transform waste into resources while keeping our community clean. Services include curbside collection of recycling, trash, yard trimmings and large brush and bulk items; street sweeping; dead animal collection; household hazardous waste disposal and recycling; and outreach and education. In December 2011, the Austin City Council approved the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which is the City’s roadmap to Zero Waste. The City of Austin is committed to keeping at least 90 percent of discarded materials out of the landfill by 2040 or sooner.

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