Columbus officials look to address possible brownfield sites

The city of Columbus will be working on addressing potential brownfield sites within city limits. Brownfield sites are considered to be underutilized and/or abandoned properties where development could be difficult due to the possible presence of environmental pollutants.

Mary Ferdon, the city’s executive director of administration and community development, explains that the city received a $400,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last fall. She says that there are two major areas being concentrated on as potentially having brownfield sites. They are “Census Track 101” in the area of Ninth and 12th Streets extending to Central Avenue, as well as along State Street.

Ferdon says that the grant is for the purpose of identifying potential problem areas and to help the city determine what further steps to take. She adds that the first in a series of public meetings to discuss the grant project is set for Feb. 24. Ferdon says that the goal of the project is to engage with owners of these properties and work with them to come to an agreement where studies of the affected properties can take place. While the grant money is not enough to actually remedy any potential problems, Ferdon says the city hopes to work with the property owners to come up with potential remedies for the sites, which could then be implemented with further funding from the EPA, or other entity.

The Feb. 24 meeting is set for 6 p.m. inside of City Hall and you are encouraged to take part. The other public sessions have yet to be scheduled.