Washington, D.C. - Congressman John Faso (R-Kinderhook) today announced that two local governments in the 19th Congressional District have been awarded $400,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for brownfield site revitalization. Sullivan County and the Village of Valley Falls (Rensselaer County) will each receive $200,000 in competitive grants to help them redevelop vacant and unused properties.
“These grants will allow Sullivan County and Valley Falls to make innovative and productive improvements to former industrial sites and encourage redevelopment and local and regional economic growth. According to the EPA, brownfield cleanup sites can increase surrounding property values by more than 15 percent. This is good news for taxpayers, homeowners, environmentalists and local leaders looking to deliver results for their residents,” said Rep. Faso.
The Sullivan County EPA grant will be used to assess the county’s brownfield sites as well as conduct planning and community outreach, focusing on the urbanized areas of Monticello, Liberty and South Fallsburg. Specifically, funding targets include: redevelopment of urban structures, improvement of the Route 17 and Route 17B corridors, and encouraging the development of agritourism and light industry on the identified and remediated brownfield sites.
“The awarding of the maximum amount of funding under the EPA’s brownfield program is testament to the diligent work our county staff do every day to improve the lives of Sullivan County’s taxpayers,” said County Manager Josh Potosek. “These funds will make a real difference in our most heavily traveled communities and help us restore pride and value in an array of properties.”
The Village of Valley Falls, in Rensselaer County, will focus its $200,000 grant funding on assessing hazardous substances at the Old Thompson Mill site, an abandoned textile mill over 100 years old. A 2009 fire badly damaged buildings at the site. Following assessment and cleanup, the village plans to construct a waterfront recreational park there incorporating reused bricks and wooden support beams from the Old Mill.
“This is an extremely important project for Valley Falls and we are excited about the awarding of this grant. We are grateful for the hard work and persistence of our staff and local partners, including the Rensselaer Land Trust and Hoosic River Water Association,” said Valley Falls Mayor Richard Andrew.