City of Texarkana, Texas awarded $500K in EPA funding

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TEXARKANA — The city of Texarkana, Texas, received $500,000 from the EPA Revolving Loan Fund Supplemental Funding for additional clean up and reuse of Brownfields sites.

The grant is part of $11.6 million in supplemental funding the EPA is providing for 27 current successful Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund grantees.

 “Our Brownfields Program has proven to be a valuable revitalization tool and we hope to continue to use it throughout the Texarkana region to place cleaned up property back into economic reuse,” Mayor Bob Bruggeman said.

A Brownfield is a property where the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. Grants awarded by EPA’s Brownfields Program provide communities with an opportunity to transform contaminated sites into community assets that attract jobs and achieve broader economic development outcomes while taking advantage of existing infrastructure. Brownfields grants have been shown to increase local tax revenue as well as increase residential property values.

“Loans were funded for abatement of two downtown projects that are in construction phase, and we are eager to see the next transformation begin. With these additional funds, the city is ready to accept applications for up to $475,000 in low interest loans specific to environmental cleanup”, Daphnea Ryan, Brownfields program manager, said.

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The additional funding will support loans for abatement of contaminants in vacant properties with a viable redevelopment plan. The most common materials abated are asbestos and lead-based paint; however, the funds cover other hazardous materials as well.  When Revolving Loans are repaid, the loan amount is returned to the fund and lent to other borrowers, providing an ongoing source of capital within a community.

“Our EPA Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund has provided numerous economic development opportunities that have contributed to the success of redevelopment activities in our community, and we appreciate our long-standing partnership with the EPA,” interim city manager David Orr said.