MT. CLEMENS — The Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development has been awarded a $1 million grant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create a Revolving Loan Fund.
The RLF will make low-interest loans available to help finance redevelopment projects for eligible brownfield sites in the County.
A brownfield is defined by the EPA as a site where redevelopment, reuse or expansion is complicated by the presence or perceived presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. Redevelopment of such properties helps to create jobs while taking full advantage of existing infrastructure such as roads, sewers and utilities. Redeveloping brownfields also helps to reduce pressure to develop open space.
Macomb’s RLF will make loans available for eligible projects that include cleanup activities. As loans are repaid, the County may continue to offer additional cleanup loans.
“Brownfield sites create special challenges due to the expense involved with environmental cleanup,” said Macomb County Planning and Economic Development Executive Director Stephen N. Cassin. “These funds will help put some of our vacant properties back into new use while creating investment and new jobs in our key industrial areas.”
The next step is to assemble a work plan to the EPA. Upon its approval, the department will outline the program for local officials and developers and begin the process of identifying priority sites and viable projects.
Awarded as part of a competitive process, Macomb County was one of 240 communities nationwide to share a total of $62.5 million. It is the only County in Michigan to be awarded an RLF. The department has been awarded $600,000 for two other EPA grants since 2005. Restricted to assessment activities, funding was used to assist 30 projects which ultimately created or retained more than 3,000 jobs and added more than $170 million in investment.
The Macomb County Department of Planning & Economic Development supports an environment where businesses prosper and people thrive. Its activities and programs are focused on stimulating the local economy through business retention, expansion and attraction while improving the overall quality of life for residents. The department specializes in providing services to businesses at all stages of development with a concentration on the high-growth industries of aerospace, alternative energy, advanced manufacturing, defense and homeland security.
For more information, call (586) 469-5285 or visit www.MacombBusiness.com.