All cities with strong economies have brownfields, which are sites that might be affected by environmental issues. These sites can still be fixed up, made safe, revitalized, and reused for commercial or industrial projects so that they are contributing to the local economy once again. Here are examples of very successful redevelopment projects in Lynchburg.
Thanks to two EPA Brownfields Assessment Grants, Lynchburg, Virginia's Economic Development Authority now has $400,000 to put towards Midtown redevelopment. The grants, given by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), will be used to take care of cleanup, planning, and community involvement activities.
Money Earmarked for Midtown
According to Lynchburg Economic Development Director Marjette Upshur, the money will be used to help redevelop a part of Lynchburg that is no longer as thriving as it once was. The Midtown area has a number of former commercial and industrial sites – once owned by the Lynchburg Iron and Metal Company, Craddock Shoe Corporation, Department of Highways Equipment Repair, Blue Buckle Overall Company, Lynchburg Traction and Light, C. B. Cones Overall Factory, and Lynchburg Hosiery Mill, to name just a few – that have closed over the years. Once part of the economy in the city, these sites may now have hazardous materials or petroleum products.
The grant money will be used first for environmental site assessments to find out whether the sites are safe. If needed, any dangerous substances will be removed or contained. Then, redevelopment planning can take place to turn these once-thriving industrial and commercial areas into new and useful properties once more. The project will create jobs, eliminate any potential environmental problems, and will help contribute to the local economy.
Lynchburg Grows with Government Support
As Lynchburg continues to grow, using underused property from the city’s past is an important step for the future. The city already has a track record of successfully using grants to improve the environment and economy. In 2008, the EPA gave Lynchburg $25,000 for the environmental assessments and redevelopment of the Allen-Morrison Site. By 2009, the project was finished and successfully met all the requirements of the grant.