FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 2023
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Awards $500,000 Brownfield Grant to West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District
Hot Springs, AR (June 2, 2023)- West Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (WCAPDD) has been awarded a grant in the amount of $500,000 by United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The Brownfield Assessment Grant will provide the desperately needed funding to identify, characterize, and plan for revitalization of a portion of the Central Business Corridor. This corridor target area hosts two priority sites, the Old St. Joseph Hospital and the Former Velda Rose Hotel. In which have strong redevelopment potential.
EPA defines a Brownfield as a piece of property where the existence or potential presence of hazardous substance, pollutant, or contamination may make it difficult to expand, renovate, or reuse the space. Through the Brownfields Program, the EPA helps cities, states, tribes and others evaluate, safely clean up and repurpose polluted lands.
This EPA Brownfield Assessment initiative seeks to lessen problems like troubled neighborhoods, disproportionate environmental stressors/burdens, and high cumulative impacts, and to provide improved access to affordable housing and reduce potential environmental risks posed by materials typically present on brownfield sites. The Brownfield Assessment Grant will help address several environmental and economic development issues present in this area of the City. WCAPDD and the City know community involvement will play a key role in driving the success of their Brownfields Program and the re-development of this area of the City of Hot Springs.
WCAPDD Executive Director, Dwayne Pratt commented, “We are pleased to be able to work with the City of Hot Springs and City Manager Bill Burrough and his team in this collaborative effort to target this important downtown corridor for future economic development activity. We would also like to recognize Congressman Bruce Westerman for his support to bring this much needed Federal investment to downtown Hot Springs.”