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Grant issued to study old railroad sites - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Grant issued to study old railroad sites

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Acadiana Planning Commission Acadiana Planning Commission

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $300,000 to the Acadiana Planning Commission in Lafayette.

Acadiana Planning Commission is one of 172 entities across the country selected to receive funding for brownfield site revitalization efforts. These initial steps towards redeveloping vacant and unused properties help transform the sites to productive reuse, benefiting the community and the local economy. This is the first Community-Wide Assessment grant to ever be awarded in the Acadiana Area.

The target area for this grant is the Four Corner University area comprised of legacy railroad operations and other historic industrial and commercial uses. Mayor-President Joel Robideaux has taken a special interest in the University Corridor for commercial redevelopment. The Commission will receive two grants totaling at $300,000: a $100,000 hazardous substance assessment grant and a $200,000 petroleum assessment grant. Chief Executive Officer, Monique Boulet says, “Advancing the shared goals of Lafayette Government and the Planning Commission to achieve a more vibrant, productive community is the priority.” Both grants will be used to conduct site assessments and create cleanup plans for sites in the Four Corners Area of Lafayette. The grants will also be used for a range of community outreach activities.

The Acadiana Planning Commission serves the public sector with planning and implementation of Community, Economic, and Transportation Development throughout the Acadiana region. In addition to Lafayette parish, the area served by APC includes the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Vermilion.

Brownfield sites are community assets because of their locations and associated infrastructure advantages. Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfields sites that are cleaned up increased between five and 15.2%. The study also determined that brownfield cleanup can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. A study analyzing data near 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup. 

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