McClellan Alabama Development Authority to Receive $10 million in Federal Funds for Brownfield Cleanup
McClellan Development Authority gets welcome surprise: $10 million
by Laura Camper
It’s a welcome surprise, said MDA Executive Director Robin Scott. Just about a month ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded the authority $3.3 million from a fund that pays for cleanup of debris left behind when the Army abandoned the former military base. The new allocations, along with the money left over from this year and the fiscal 2012 appropriation of $1.8 million, give the authority a total of $20.2 million it can use in fiscal year 2012.
At two MDA committee meetings Wednesday, the program management and the planning committees heard the proposed plan for spending that money. The plan, which the entire board will discuss at a meeting Sept. 28, focuses on 500 acres south of Bain’s Gap Road and east of Iron Mountain Road near a planned industrial park. The area is slated for commercial and industrial use. It also includes a smaller area west of Iron Mountain Road near the 500 acres and a large area south of the 500 acres.
It will cost an estimated $8 million to clean the entire 500-acre area, said Mike James, chairman of the Program Management Committee.
“We’re only allocating $3 million,” James said. “We talked about spending maybe the entire $8 million and putting everything on the east side of Iron Mountain and start here at the Bains Gap Road and just proceed south just as fast and furiously as we could.”
Then the authority could finish quickly and put the 500-acre site on the market to commercial and industrial customers, James said, which could mean jobs and tax dollars.
However, including the area just west of the Iron Mountain Road would mean that both areas would be going through cleanup at roughly the same time, decreasing inconvenience to the businesses that move into the 500-acre area and maybe making the property more attractive.
GBP’s Take: What a better way to clean up an abandoned military base than to get another $10 million from the Feds! Cleaning and reclaiming brownfield sites allows the preservation of nature and fully represents the spirit of sustainability and green business practices.