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City taking steps toward building south Greenwood park

Post Date:08/22/2017 1:56 PM

Index Journal

By:  Adam Benson

Greenwood city leaders have taken over the deed to a parcel of land owned by the Housing Authority since 2004, the first step toward converting it into a park on the south side.

“The critical piece of this is we can’t get grant funding for the site unless we own it,” City Manager Charlie Barrineau.

The 13.5-acre site at 1801 Foundry Road, was purchased by Housing Authority from Greenwood Mills in 2004. Officials have been talking about converting it to recreational space for years, and will use $1.75 million from the capital project sales tax approved in November to finance it.

But to make it a park, the property needs to change hands again so the city can apply for a “non-voluntary cleanup contract,” or VCC, with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The contract protects the city from any environmental liability with an agreement that officials will implement a state-approved cleanup and redevelopment plan. By the summer, Barrineau said the council intends to ask the Housing Authority to deed the property – which requires authority board approval – for construction of a public park.

Barrineau said in February the city plans to apply for a $200,000 cleanup grant through the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which can’t be done without the state agreement and direct ownership of the property.

Another revenue stream could be the state Revolving Brownfield Loan Fund that can also be the promise of dedicated money from the penny sales tax to secure a non-refundable grant.

Also Monday, the City Council approved spending a $21,880 federal Justice Assistance Grant to purchase winter coats and surveillance equipment for the police department.