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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2000

Ryan Announces Brownfields Redevelopment Grants

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that Justice, Palatine, Normal, Lemont and Bartlett are the latest recipients of Illinois Brownfields Redevelopment Grants. The Grants are awarded to the communities to evaluate potential contamination and prepare clean up plans for abandoned or underused industrial and commercials properties.

"The grants are part of what is recognized as one of the most effective state programs in the nation to convert sites that potentially threaten human health and the environment and restore them to safe and productive use," Ryan said.

According to Illinois EPA Director Tom Skinner, up to $120,000 is available to each municipality, providing assistance to perform environmental assessments at brownfields sites. "This assistance can be the catalyst to bring back to productive use sites that have been community eyesores or potential hazards to the citizens and environment," Skinner said.

The grants may be used to identify, investigate and characterize sites, determine clean up objectives and develop remedial action plans. Funding has now been provided to 26 communities across the state.

The grants were presented during the All Cities Brownfields Conference at Starved Rock State Park today.

The new grant recipients are as follows:

Bartlett: Grant of $88,191
The Village of Bartlett will use grant dollars to investigate several adjoining parcels of property as part of the redevelopment of Bartlett's central business district. Ultimately, Bartlett envisions a mixed-use development, comprised of retail, professional offices, residential, commercial and cultural/recreational facilities.

Justice: $25,891
The Village of Justice will perform Phase I and Phase II investigation activities using the grant dollars at a long-abandoned gas station site located along the main thoroughfare through town. Once environmental issues have been addressed, the Village plans to redevelop the site into a revenue-producing commercial and/or retail site.

Lemont: $114,197
The Village of Lemont has been working toward redeveloping an abandoned heavy industrial site. Using grant funds, the Village plans to address environmental issues as the first step in putting into motion Lemont's plan to create a light manufacturing district, while preserving the historical character of Lemont.

Normal: $31,438
The Town of Normal will use grant funds to investigate a former dry cleaner site, which is located in the heart of Normal's central business district. Currently, the vacant site is hindering economic development. Cleanup and redevelopment of this abandoned site will jump-start projected growth in this area. Once environmental issues have been addressed, the site will be developed by the town for municipal purposes or marketed for redevelopment.

Palatine: $48,549
The Village of Palatine will perform Phase I and Phase II investigation activities at two properties formerly used for dry cleaning. The sites are located in downtown Palatine, close to shopping, restaurants and the Metra commuter train station. Transforming these currently underutilized sites into residential and retail sites will provide the Village with tax revenues and act as a catalyst for further development.

This is the fifth year an Illinois All Cities Brownfields Conference has been held in northern Illinois. Additional information, including Brownfields Grant application forms, are available on the Internet at www.epa.state.il.us/land/brownfields.


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