City of Dunn Brownfields Grant Program
The City of Dunn was incorporated in 1887 with majority of the industry centered around the major rail line coming through the City center and into the Dunn Depot. The railroad supported the transportation of goods to and from the cotton warehouses and later the furniture mills that sprung up in the City. As business bustled, roadway expansion exploded. Soon a tight grid pattern of streets began to form in the core of the downtown area. Cumberland Street served as the main gateway into the City, with gas stations and other commercial and industrial businesses popping up along the thoroughfare. Over the century after construction of the Dunn Depot, the community expanded to a population of almost 9,000. Unfortunately, in recent years, with less reliance on the railroad and downturns in the economic market, we have seen the closing of several businesses and manufacturing facilities.
We have a vision to revitalize the City. The vision is a homegrown vision that includes taking the necessary steps to bring back life and the opportunity to reestablish local financial success and growth within our community. We accomplished what we believe to be the first of many steps towards achieving this vision when the City of Dunn was awarded two $200,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Community Wide Brownfields Assessment Grants in the fall of 2014.
The City’s Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant Program
The Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant runs for a period of three years - beginning in October 2014 and ending in September 2017.
Essentially, funds from the Grant are intended to identify and assess underutilized properties that represent potential hazards to human health and the environment. Grant funds can be used to assess petroleum and hazardous material contamination at suspect Brownfield sites in order to help property owners plan for potential rehabilitation, and future redevelopment and reuse.
What does the program offer property owners?
Participation in the Dunn Brownfield Program by the private sector is voluntary. The program helps move properties towards redevelopment by conducting Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and identifying/removing the environmental risk/uncertainty associated with the property. With the funds from the EPA, the City will be able to pay for environmental site assessment activities on properties where the current owner or prospective purchaser is unwilling and/or unable. Program participation is particularly helpful where a property is perceived to have an environmental problem, although one may not actually exist. Participation in the program in not mandatory; that is, if the City identifies your property as a potential Brownfield site you do NOT have to participate. In addition, not all properties are eligible for participation under the program, and funding is limited for assessing these properties.
Who’s helping us?
The city has hired Amec Foster Wheeler Environment & Infrastructure, Inc. (Amec Foster Wheeler) to serve as the lead consultant on the project. Amec Foster Wheeler will assist the city organizing public events and other public outreach activities. Amec Foster Wheeler is responsible for performing environmental assessments and sampling funded through the grant. Additionally, Amec Foster Wheeler will help the City plan for rehabilitation, and future redevelopment and reuse. So don’t be surprised if you receive a letter or a phone call from Amec Foster Wheeler. They are here to help us.
In addition to Amec Foster Wheeler, we have identified a group of community members that represent the City’s Brownfield Steering Committee (BSC). The responsibilities of the BSC include: