Grants Announced During Mohawk Valley Regional Sustainable Development and Collaborative Governance Conference
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $2 million in planning grants will be made available through the State’s Environmental Protection Fund supported Brownfield Opportunity Area program. These planning grants will assist communities currently in the BOA program in completing their revitalization strategies for economically distressed areas.
"Brownfield designations play a key role in helping both revitalize neighborhoods and foster economic growth in communities throughout the state," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants from the State’s Environmental Protection Fund will ensure that communities in the midst of building their plan have the resources they need to fully complete and present their strategy for areas that have long been economically distressed."
The designation of a Brownfield Opportunity Area provides certain incentives to encourage re-investment in an economically distressed area, including bonus tax credits when property within a designated is remediated through the Brownfield Cleanup Program, and priority and preference for certain state grants.
"The Governor’s support of the Brownfield Opportunity Area program is providing more opportunities for New York’s communities to reinvest in distressed areas,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul who announced the $2 million initiative during Governor Cuomo's Mohawk Valley Sustainable Development Conference. "These funds will bring new life to businesses and neighborhoods by making use of underutilized properties, and help create jobs for New Yorkers."
Prior to receiving this designation, communities must submit plans detailing how they will transform Brownfield sites from liabilities to community assets that generate businesses, jobs and revenues for local economies and provide new housing and public amenities. The types of neighborhoods and areas where program resources have been applied since the Program’s creation include industrial/manufacturing, commercial corridors, residential, downtowns and waterfronts.
There are currently 38 designated Brownfield Opportunity Areas in New York State.
New York Secretary of State Rossana Rosado said, "The BOA Program helps create jobs, support environmental remediation and expand the tax base in distressed neighborhoods that have been adversely affected by unsightly and dormant brownfield areas."
The BOA Program is administered by the New York Department of State and the application to compete for funding will be available on New York State's Consolidated Funding Application. All interested municipalities, community-based organizations, and New York City Community Boards must submit completed applications by March 1, 2017.
Created in 1993, the EPF was established to provide funding for the broad categorical areas of Solid Waste, Parks and Recreation and Open Space. In 2016, Governor Cuomo proposed and the Legislature approved $300 million for the State’s Environmental Protection Fund – a $123 million increase from the previous fiscal year and a $45 million increase from the Environmental Protection Fund’s highest level of funding achieved in 2007.
The EPF funds land acquisition, farmland protection, waterfront revitalization, municipal recycling, local government assistance to improve wastewater treatment plants and municipal parks, and supports several innovative programs to solve environmental challenges. The EPF also supports the stewardship of public lands, including state parks and millions of acres of public lands throughout the state. Through partnerships with volunteer organizations, state agencies use stewardship funding to manage trails and lands, protect natural resources, preserve wildlife habitats, make critical capital improvements at parks and campgrounds, educate students about conservation and provide access to persons with disabilities.
More information on this grant opportunity is available at http://www.dos.ny.gov/funding/.