Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst announced Thursday that the was one of only 26 grant recipients throughout New York State that received funding for community brownfield redevelopment, as part of the state’s “Brownfield Opportunity Area” grants program.
The $236,900 grant will be used to complete a revitalization plan for a 468-acre section in the hamlet of Riverside that is characterized by blight and abandonment.
The parcel includes 15 Brownfield sites; Brownfield sites are dormant properties where the presence or potential presence of contamination has impeded site redevelopment, turning the properties into economic and environmental drains on communities.
Once redeveloped, the goal is that Brownfield sites become community assets that can attract businesses, jobs, and kickstart the local tax base.
According to Throne-Holst, the proposed revitalization plan for Riverside will address coordination of town, county, and state efforts in the areas of road improvement, sewer feasibility, and coastal planning studies that are already in progress.
In addition, the funds will be used to help boost the potential for the redevelopment of the strategic sites by a master developer. A Request for Qualifications seeking such a developer was released by the town on August 22, with the deadline for submission October 23, 2013;
Also addressed will be quality of life issues, including the long-sought property maintenance and code enforcement concerns voiced by residents, recruitment of businesses to provide needed services, development of recreation opportunities, waterfront access on public lands, and improved solid waste management services.
“The NYS Brownfields Opportunity Area grant will add much needed state financial support to local economic development initiatives by identifying ways to safely and productively redeploy long dormant or underutilized ‘Brownfield’ properties for economic development," said Vince Taldone, president of the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association. "In an area like Riverside, which suffers with high unemployment, redevelopment of these Brownfield properties couldn't come soon enough."