BELFAST — The City of Belfast will be holding an information session about its Brownfields Assessment Program, which will take place at 6 p.m., on Monday, February 24, in City Council Chambers at Belfast City Hall, at 131 Church Street in Belfast. This session is free and open to the public.
Under the City of Belfast’s Brownfields Assessment Program, owners, developers, and/or prospective purchasers of ‘brownfield’ properties, which are commercial and industrial properties located within Belfast that have expansion, reuse, or redevelopment potential, but which are currently vacant or are underutilized due to known or perceived environmental contamination, can receive an environmental assessment and/or cleanup plan for that property, in order to provide environmental due diligence in support of obtaining bank financing, to document the environmental liabilities and the associated cleanup costs, to help revitalize these properties, and/or to protect the environment and public health.
The City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program is a voluntary program, where the services are provided at no charge to the owner, developer, or prospective purchaser; however the information and reports that are generated by this program become part of the public record.
The goal of this session is to educate people about this program and to highlight its benefits.
According to Belfast Economic Development Director Thomas Kittredge: ”while the City of Belfast has clearly recognized that this program is a powerful economic development tool and has consistently supported it, it is sometimes a challenge to get the participation of owners, developers, and prospective purchasers, due to unaddressed concerns that they may have or due to a lack of understanding of the program, and we encourage them to attend this session. Additionally, we are also hoping to make our local realtor and banker communities well aware of this resource. This information session is part of a concerted, ongoing community outreach and engagement campaign that I hope will result in getting many worthwhile properties assessed in an efficient manner.”
The funding for this program is provided through a United States Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Assessment Grant, which was applied for and secured by the City of Belfast during the first half of 2019. The elected officials of the City of Belfast at that time - Mayor Samantha Paradis, City Councilor Paul Dean, City Councilor Neal Harkness, City Councilor Michael Hurley, City Councilor Mary Mortier, and City Councilor Eric Sanders - deserve credit for supporting the development and submission of the application to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
The outreach for, and the management of, the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program is being done by the City of Belfast along with a number of community partners, including: the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce; the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition; Belfast Public Health Nursing; Our Town Belfast; and Waldo Community Action Partners.
Any persons with interest in the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program are encouraged to contact Thomas Kittredge, Economic Development Director, at (207) 338-3370, extension 116, or via e-mail at email@example.com, where they can have confidential, no-obligation discussions regarding the program and their properties. Information about the City of Belfast Brownfields Assessment Program can also be found at www.cityofbelfast.org/brownfields.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Program is designed to empower states, communities, and other stakeholders in economic redevelopment to work together in a timely manner to prevent, assess, safely clean up, and sustainably reuse brownfields.