LANSING—The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) has again led a coalition of regional partners—including the cities of Lansing and East Lansing, Clinton County, Eaton County, and Ingham County—in securing a substantial grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will be used to assess and jump-start the environmental cleanup of blighted and contaminated properties across the region, preparing them for redevelopment.
“This grant announcement is an incredible opportunity for our region, a true testament to what we can achieve through partnerships between the cities and counties,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of LEAP. “These funds jump-start projects on otherwise forgotten and contaminated properties that are quite unlikely to be cleaned up and placed back on the tax rolls, unless we intervene with our economic development programs. I want to thank (Lansing) Mayor (Andy) Schor for allowing us and the region to work with the city as the lead applicant.”
Earlier this week, the EPA announced the regional coalition, managed by LEAP through the city of Lansing and its regional partners, has received the maximum grant award of $600,000 through the 2019 EPA Brownfields Program.
“It is always great to bring federal dollars to the City of Lansing,” Schor said. “These funds further enable us to act on the City of Lansing’s economic development priorities by assessing and transforming blighted properties. Thank you to the EPA for recognizing that now is a great time to invest in Lansing and the surrounding region. I’m proud of the City of Lansing, who with support from the Lansing Brownfields Redevelopment Authority and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), led a successful collaborative effort with the City of East Lansing, Clinton County, Eaton County and Ingham County, to apply for and secure this substantial grant.”
The 2019 award follows a successful 2015 EPA Brownfield Grant, which resulted in the environmental assessment of 42 properties and spurred projects across the region, including Provident Place in Lansing, the Center City District project in downtown East Lansing, the Okemos Point apartments in Meridian Township, and Looking Glass Brewery in Dewitt. Other sites are in preparation to move forward with development.
“Environmental setbacks can often complicate and put a stop to redevelopment projects in the region,” said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows. “Right now, in the heart of East Lansing, we are seeing the impact these funds can have.”
Added Eaton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Terrance Augustine: “On behalf of Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties, I appreciate LEAP bringing together our urban and rural communities. Protecting our environment and economic development within our tri-county region are high priorities. Our residents and businesses very much appreciate the EPA for providing these integral funds towards achieving both.”