May 29, 2012   Although Minnesota’s state budget is tight, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED)  Office of Brownfields and Redevelopment has announced that it has $3 million in bond funds available to units of local government – cities, counties, port authorities, economic development authorities and housing and redevelopment  authorities.  Up to 50 percent of the available funds will be awarded to communities outside of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

There are some limits as to how the State monies may be used.   Due to the restriction of available funding as bond funds, eligible costs can only be applied towards publicly owned land with a public purpose, or preferably, public infrastructure costs that support private redevelopment.  Eligible activities include land acquisition, stabilizing unstable soils when infill is required, demolition, infrastructure improvements and such as stormwater collection systems or other environmental infrastructure and costs necessary for the adaptive reuse of buildings, including remedial activities.

Applications must be received at DEED by August 1, 2012.  A copy of the application can be found at: http://www.positivelyminnesota.com/Government/Financial_Assistance/Site_Cleanup,_Redevelopment,_Transit_Funding/Redevelopment_Grant_Program_2.aspx.  For more information on the program, please contact DEED’s Meredith Udoibok at 651-259-7454 or meredith.udoibok@state.mn.us.

Although redevelopment monies have historically been directed to Minneapolis and St. Paul urban centers, DEED has encouraged smaller communities outstate to present applications to support projects in their communities.  Communities across the state have sites that have been affected by contamination – old industrial sites, sites with leaking underground storage tanks, and sites impacted by releases of agricultural chemicals – that may be eligible for this cleanup related assistance.

Environmental attorney Joseph Maternowski at the Hessian & McKasy firm in Minneapolis is involved with all representation of clients on all aspects of property redevelopment including the investigation and cleanup of Brownfields sites.  For more information on Joe Maternowski’s background and practice, please visit his You Tube site and watch two videos at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1Ybc9Acm8k and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJTDvveG0jY.

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