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Cities receive Brownfield grants from provincePosted: July 12, 2012

Through the Brownfield Renewal Funding Program, the Government of B.C. is awarding more than $1.64 million to 24 projects throughout the province, including four in the East Kootenay.

Three of the projects are in Kimberley and a fourth is in Cranbrook.

Two Oaks Holdings Ltd. (Bavarian Esso) is getting $9,945. Formerly a petroleum bulk plant, this site is located near a railway corridor and has great potential as a mixed light industrial and residential development. The Brownfields grant will help the proponent determine the existence and extent of on-site contamination.

City of Kimberley is getting $54,935 for the Kimberley Townsite Garage site. The city hopes to redevelop this former gas station site into a mixed use commercial and residential space. This grant will support preliminary environmental investigation. This site was previously used to store mining equipment. Perceived contamination has prevented the site from being redeveloped. This grant will help the city understand on-site contamination issues so that remediation can begin.

Nel-Ray Holdings Ltd. in Kimberley is getting $74,726 (255 Knighton Road). Formerly a petroleum bulk plant, this site is located near a railway corridor and has great potential as a mixed light industrial and residential development. The Brownfields grant will help the proponent determine the existence and extent of on-site contamination.

In Cranbrook, Tembec Industries Inc. will get $109,650 for its old sawmill site, which closed in 1998. Now, with the support of local government, the owner is hoping to remediate the site and turn it into another industrial development. Funding will assist the owner to understand remediation costs so that redevelopment can occur.

“This kind of provincial funding is about helping communities redevelop sites that have the potential to once again become important to the public and to the economy. The site in Cranbrook in particular is very important because of its size and location in the heart of our community. I worked hard to help get these funds and am grateful for our success,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.

Each of the 24 projects have been selected for their redevelopment potential. Brownfields are abandoned, vacant, derelict, or underutilized commercial and industrial properties, where past actions have resulted in actual or perceived contamination.

Sites like old gas stations, industrial storage facilities or former industrial sites are often located in prime areas for redevelopment and can help revitalize the surrounding community once the issue of contamination is addressed.

The B.C. Brownfield Renewal Funding Program encourages brownfield redevelopment across British Columbia by providing the initial funding to help property owners, businesses and local governments better understand the extent of contamination so that they can remediate it.

“The Brownfield Renewal Strategy embodies the vision of my ministry – environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. Each of today’s 24 recipients are getting the initial support they need to turn an underutilized site into a productive and prosperous space,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations .

Additionally, the Donald Sawmill (Trans Canada Sort Ltd.) is getting $60,800.

Formerly the site of the Donald sawmill, the owner would like to redevelop this site into a commercial and residential space, including a travel centre. Detailed environmental investigation work and a risk assessment will give the owner a better understanding of the extent of contamination.

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