City Hall here has not been shy about seeking brownfield grants to help the city clean up former industrial sites.
Christine Butterfield, the director of the city’s Community Development Department, says the city of Cedar Rapids launched a brownfields program in the late 1990s to help spur reinvestment in and around former industrial properties in the Oak Hill Jackson Neighborhood near the downtown.
Butterfield said the program has accessed a total of $6,103,995 in grant funds, which have been used to plan, acquire, assess and clean up brownfields.
The brownfield work has centered on the former Sinclair meatpacking plant, 1600 Third St. SE; the former Iowa Iron Works plant, 400 12th Ave. SE; the former Iowa Steel plant, 415 12th Ave. SE; the former Quality Chef Foods plant, the 1100 block of Third Street SE; and the former RESCAR site, 1800 10th St. SE. Buildings on the sites have been demolished, though one on the former Quality Chef site is being converted into the new home of the New Bo City Market.
From 1999 through 2005, the city received five grants totaling $950,000 from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and it received $2,060,745 in five grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1999 through 2009. In addition, the Iowa Department of Economic Development provided the city with a $1,068,250 brownfield grant in 2000 and the city also has received a $25,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as well as a $2 million grant from the Hall-Perrine Foundation of Cedar Rapids for use on the Sinclair site.
Butterfield’s department noted, too, that the city has obtained $500,000 to assess and clean up more than 100 commercial properties that are part of the city’s $168 million flood-recovery buyout program.