Despite concerns across the country about cuts and a spending freeze, local coalition leaders say they've been told to press on
There's been a lot of talk about cuts and spending freezes at the EPA, but local officials have been assured that none of that will affect the work they are currently doing to divvy more than $600,000 for projects in Brooke, Hancock and Jefferson counties.
A coalition involving leaders of the Jefferson County Port Authority, Business Development Corporation of the Northern Panhandle, and Brooke Hancock Jefferson Planning Commission met to talk about cleaning up abandoned industrial sites on Thursday.
“It's been a great partnership is for with the BDC and BHJ,” said Evan Scurti, executive director of the port authority. “This is our first cross-river partnership as a port authority. It's going well. We are working regularly with Pat (Ford) and Marvin (Six) at the BDC and Mike Paprocki at the Paprocki of the (BHJ).”
Together, they’ll decide what to do with $600,000 granted to them by the EPA.
“Over the past 6 years, we’ve had $3.7 million of U.S. EPA dollars come into our region that has been leveraged into $118 million of private investment, and so based on our current projections, we want the community to realize that the $600,000 that we have been awarded for this grant, we will be able to leverage almost $20 million in private investment,” said Ford, executive director of the BDC.
Despite concerns across the country about cuts and a spending freeze, coalition leaders say they've been told to press on.
“Through my contacts at USAPA, it is business as usual,” Paprocki said. “They want to move forward and we're just working out the specifics of the program.”
Coalition leaders say it could be several months before the projects are identified and any work begins.
The money will be used for environmental assessment of potentially contaminated properties.