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AI- 3078   8. C. 1.    
BOC Regular
Meeting Date: 11/21/2019  
Approval of the EPA FY 2020 Brownfield Cleanup Grant Application
FROM: Jim Dyer, Corporation Counsel, Corporation Counsel
Department: Corporation Counsel  

Information
RESOLUTION:
Resolved, that the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners approves the FY2020 US EPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant Application for the contaminated mound located on the Calhoun County Justice Complex site near Michigan Avenue and Elm Street, designate the Community Development Director as Project Manager and authorizes the Calhoun County Administrator/Controller to sign the grant contract and any other documents necessary for approval of the Grant and completion of the project. 
RECOMMENDATION:
County Administration, Community Development, the Corporation Counsel and the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority Executive Director recommend approval of the resolution. After significant analysis and consideration of alternatives, as described in the attached materials, it is believed that this is the best course of action to eliminate this blighted area that forms the eastern entrance into the Calhoun County Justice Complex and the City of Battle Creek.   
BACKGROUND:
Calhoun County is applying for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Cleanup Grant to address soil conditions on a portion of the property located at 161 East Michigan Avenue. An aerial view of the "mound' in question is included on the last page of the Alternative Brownfield Cleanup Analysis attached to the agenda item.

This grant requires a public input component where comments from interested parties are incorporated into the application. To meet this requirement, a public comment period is being included on this agenda and a draft grant application and the Analysis of Brownfield Cleanup Alternatives (ABCA) are available for review and comment in the Community Development Office from November 15 through November 22.

This grant application seeks $500,000 from the EPA to remediate contaminated soil at the 161 E Michigan Avenue property.   The soil in question is located at the southeast corner of the property and is a barrier to future economic development. This grant also requires matching funds, which the County plans to accomplish through a loan from the state office of the Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE).  EGLE allows loans up to $300,000, and its expected that installments would be paid through a tax capture from the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan at the site. 

Much work has already been accomplished to prepare for this EPA Cleanup Grant application.  An existing EPA Brownfields Assessment Grant, which was awarded to and administered the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority (CCLBA), was used to conduct soil characterization tests and to prepare necessary components for the current grant request.  In addition, with the assistance of Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU), the County did conduct initial due diligence to understand the costs associated with removing the contaminated soil and preparing the site for redevelopment.

This mound has existed on site for well over thirty years. It has dominated the corner of East Michigan and Elm streets for so long that its presence is viewed as a natural occurrance, rather than the envirnomental contamination that it is. Its presence has negatively impacted the value of private property in the area, has negatively impacted the economic development of commercial and industrial sites in the area and created an eyesore on the eastern gatway into the Justice Complex and the City of Battle Creek. 

Draft versions of the grant application, the grant threshold criteria, and the alternative brownfield cleanup analysis, all of which support the application are included for review and consideration.  
SUMMARY:
An environmentally contaminated "mound" formed at the time the Calhoun County Justice Center was constructed impairs property values and impedes economic development in the area of East MIchigan Avenue and Elm Street. County Administration, Community Development, the Corporation Counsel and the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority Executive Director recommend approval of the resolution to apply for a cleanup grant. After significant analysis and consideration of alternatives, as described in the attached materials, it is believed that this is the best course of action to eliminate this blighted area that forms the eastern entrance into the Calhoun County Justice Complex and the City of Battle Creek.   

Fiscal Impact
BUDGETARY IMPACT:
The required matching funds will be obtained from sources other than the County's general fund. It is anticipated that the match can be funded through a loan from the state office of the Environment, Great Lakes & Energy (EGLE). EGLE allows loans up to $300,000, and its expected that installments would be paid through a tax capture from the Brownfield Redevelopment Plan at the site.
Attachments
Grant Application
Threshold Critera
Alternative Brownfield Cleanup Analysis

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