Alger, Jackson counties land Environmental Protection Agency grants to rehabilitate brownfield sites

munising pic

Downtown Munising.

Two members of the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) were informed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently that their grant applications for brownfield assessments were accepted.

Alger County will receive $196,100, while Jackson County will get $400,000. Each county was approved for “community-wide” assessments, the EPA announced.

For Alger County, the successful notice comes after several years of tweaking proposals to address longstanding contamination issues, assisted by MAC’s Grant Services Program.

“This grant took a different and creative approach by only requesting enough funds to address redevelopment problems and financial barriers at the top four highest priority brownfield sites in the county,” explained Gabriel Zawadzki, who leads MAC’s Grant Services Program. “Three of these sites are located in the heart of downtown Munising along M28 — the major northern corridor through the Upper Peninsula and the gateway to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.”

Alger County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jerry Doucette said the county is eager to get to work to bring these properties back into productive use.

“We were fortunate to have the assistance of MAC and its experts at AKT Peerless and Envirologic to ensure that, this time, we would be successful in convincing the EPA of the importance of our proposal,” added Doucette, who also serves as first vice president of MAC.

In all, the EPA approved seven of the 26 applications from Michigan in this round of funding. In addition to Alger and Jackson counties, the successful applicants were: the city of Detroit, the Downriver Community Conference, the Genesee County Land Bank, the city of Lansing and the Muskegon Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Total funding gained via the grants exceeds $2.5 million.