Toledo has been awarded an $800,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that will be used to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties in four areas of the city.
The City of Toledo applied for the grant in conjunction with the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, the Lucas County Land Bank, and Metroparks of the Toledo Area. It’s the first time the city has applied for EPA money as a coalition, and the grant is the largest Toledo has ever received from the U.S. EPA, environmental services commissioner Tim Murphy said.
The coalition plans to use the funds in four key areas of the city: the Cherry Street and Summit Street corridors; around the Fernwood Growing Center in central Toledo; along the Anthony Wayne Trail close to the Toledo Zoo; and around the old Jeep plant in central Toledo. The money will be used to assess the extent of contamination at several former industrial sites in those areas so plans can be made to clean them up.
Once the assessments are done, the coalition will be able to leverage additional money to clean up the sites and get them ready for redevelopment. Mr. Murphy estimated the assessment process will take about two years.
“It’s a very significant step for these sites and these areas of the city,” the commissioner said. People in these neighborhoods “have sat there and looked at these sites for years, and they see progress starting now.”
The grant, which was announced today, is part of a total $69.3 million awarded to 245 grantees across the country.