Local News

Fayetteville Receives EPA Grant To Clean Up Downtown Properties

Posted May 18, 2000

— Cleaning up contaminated property is not easy or cheap. Fayetteville is hoping new money will be an incentive.

The manufactured gas plant has not been open on Ray Avenue for years. However, the ground contamination still lingers.

Clayel Bricker works in the building next door. He would like to see the property cleaned up.

"Anything to help downtown," Bricker says.

The city hopes a new grant from theEnvironmental Protection Agencywill help. Fayetteville has received $500,000 for low interest loans.

A developer can use the money to clean up an environmental waste site and then build something new. City Manager Roger Stancil says it is another incentive to revitalize downtown.

"You've got to try to put the brownfields development in urban areas on equal footing with greenfields which is virgin territory where those problems don't exist," Stancil says.

The city hopes redevelopment will provide new jobs and an enhanced tax base.

Downtown realtor John Malzone says with many untainted sites still available in Fayetteville, there will not be a big demand for the grant.

"I don't think the money is enough to take on that risk," Malzone says. "I can't see why a developer in their right mind would go ahead and take the risk associated with taking on a risk with environmental hazards. The banks don't like them and developers are afraid of them."

The grant is part of a pilot program with the EPA that will last five years. Laurinburg, Concord and Winston-Salem also received grants.


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