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Burlington, Iowa, and Resource Conservation and Development for Northeast Iowa, Inc., to Receive EPA Grants to Help Community Redevelopment

Contact Information: 
Ashley Murdie (

Environmental News


EPA seal(Lenexa, Kan., Jan. 6, 2017) - The city of Burlington, Iowa, and Resource Conservation and Development for Northeast Iowa, Inc., are among 19 communities across the country chosen to receive part of approximately $3.8 million in funding to assist with planning for cleanup and reuse of brownfield sites, as part of the Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) program.

Each recipient will receive up to $200,000 to engage their community and conduct planning activities for brownfield site reuse.

The grants will help communities plan improvements such as housing, transportation options, recreation and open space, education and health facilities, social services, renewed infrastructure, increased commerce, and employment opportunities.

“The Area-Wide Planning grant program is an innovation initiated by the Obama Administration to empower communities to transform economically and environmentally distressed areas, including communities impacted by manufacturing plant closures, into vibrant future destinations for business, jobs, housing, and recreation,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management.

“These grants provide the opportunity for communities to determine for themselves revitalization plans that best meet their vision and needs, based on a rigorous analysis of market and infrastructure in a manner that benefits and does not displace long-term residents,” Stanislaus said.

The city of Burlington, Iowa, will work with the community and stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the Downtown Burlington Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District. The 144-acre area includes five historic districts, and is composed of older and historic commercial, warehousing, and manufacturing buildings. The goal of this project is to convert the outdated downtown into a mixed-use, walkable historic neighborhood and booming economic center. The project will focus on planning for reinvestment in infrastructure and economic development, connecting redeveloped properties, and expanding transportation.

Resource Conservation and Development for Northeast Iowa, Inc., will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the Postville Community Planning Project Area. This area, comprising 107 acres in Postville, Iowa, has been identified as key to the economic revitalization of the community. This project will help restore social partnership and community vision, and bring together diverse private and public entities in the community to develop a comprehensive vision for community revitalization. The area-wide plan will encourage business improvement, expansion, and recruitment.

EPA’S AWP program was modeled after New York State’s Brownfields Opportunity Area program, which was developed by communities – particularly lower income communities – to enable them to drive development that meets their needs without displacing them.

Studies have shown that residential property values near brownfield sites that are cleaned up increased between 5 and 15 percent. Data also shows that brownfield cleanups can increase overall property values within a one-mile radius. Preliminary analysis involving 48 brownfield sites shows that an estimated $29 to $97 million in additional tax revenue was generated for local governments in a single year after cleanup.

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