The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 21, 2013

City seeks more assistance for Brownfields

BY JENNIFER BAILEY jbailey@dancomnews.com
The Commercial-News

---- — DANVILLE — Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said the city has spent almost all of the $400,000 assessment grant the city received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess Brownfield sites in the city for possible future development.

Brownfields are properties where redevelopment is prevented by the presence of hazardous materials. The city in recent years has seen at least two developers walk away from properties inside city limits after environmental studies had found chemical contamination.

A recent example of environmental assessments completed for a project with the city’s Brownfields grant is at the former gas station site at the northeast corner of Vermilion and Seminary streets, across from the Danville Public Library, for a law office for Baku N. Patel.

Now the city council’s Public Services Committee will consider seeking additional assistance through the Illinois EPA and U.S. EPA in identifying environmental conditions throughout the city to help in the redevelopment of Brownfield sites.

Also on Tuesday, the public is invited to voice any comments about the city allocating Community Development Block Grant funding for a Koehn Creek planning study.

The committee is considering amending the city’s 2013 Annual Action Plan for CDBG funding to transfer $20,000 in CDBG funds currently designated for economic development activities.

The funding would be for a planning study to determine alternatives for alleviating flooding in the upper Koehn Creek Watershed located near 1625 E. Voorhees St.

During high rain events, the Heatcraft facility floods in addition to other residential areas and Voorhees Street itself gets water on it, according to Urban Services Director David Schnelle.

In other business, the committee will consider approving a lease extension for the Public Safety Building through Oct. 31, 2016.

The county’s annual lease rents — which include about $2.5 million for leased employees — are $4.95 million, $5.04 million and $5.15 million for the years Nov. 1, 2013, through Oct. 31, 2016.

The city’s annual rent is about $1.12 million for Nov. 1, 2013 through Oct. 31, 2014; $1.14 million for Nov. 1, 2014, to Oct. 31, 2015; and $1.15 million for Nov. 1, 2015, to Oct. 31, 2016.

Coming up The city council's Public Services Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Robert E. Jones Municipal Building, 17 W. Main St.