EPA awards $1.1 million to support the cleanup and redevelopment of properties in Trinidad, Aguilar and Las Animas County
EPA Brownfields grants to focus on El Corazón de Trinidad, the Fox West Theater, Aguilar’s Main Street and other areas
Trinidad, Colo. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $1.1 million in Brownfields grant funding to a local government coalition led by the City of Trinidad to advance the cleanup and revitalization of properties in Las Animas County, including targeted areas in the City of Trinidad and the Town of Aguilar.
The City of Trinidad is among 151 communities nationwide selected to receive 154 grant awards totaling $66.5 million in EPA Brownfields funding through the agency’s Multipurpose, Assessment, and Cleanup Grant programs. This funding will support underserved and economically disadvantaged communities across the country in assessing and cleaning up contaminated and abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Approximately 50 percent of selected recipients will be receiving EPA Brownfields Grant funding for the first time and more than 85 percent are located in or serving small communities.
“The City of Trinidad has become a valued EPA partner in addressing contamination and in advancing a redevelopment vision for the City and nearby communities,” said Mark A. Smith, EPA Region 8 director of the Land, Chemicals, and Redevelopment Division. “We look forward to seeing these assessment and cleanup funds contribute to new economic opportunities in downtown Trinidad, Aguilar and other parts of Las Animas County.”
EPA is awarding the City of Trinidad, in coalition with the Town of Aguilar and Las Animas County, a $600,000 Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant to conduct more than two dozen environmental site assessments at targeted properties and develop site-specific cleanup and reuse plans. Assessment activities will focus on the El Corazón de Trinidad target area and Aguilar’s Main Street target area. Priority sites include the Columbian Hotel, Schneider Brewery, Holy Trinity School, East Street School, Bell Service Station, JR’s Store, Central Starkville School, and a former landfill outside of Aguilar. Grant funds also will be used to update a public involvement plan and conduct other community outreach activities
EPA is also awarding the City of Trinidad a $500,000 Brownfields Cleanup Grant, which will be used to clean up the Fox West Theater at 423 West Main Street. The 22,000 square-foot theater was constructed in 1908 and operated until the 1990s when it permanently closed. The site is contaminated with inorganic contaminants and heavy metals. The City intends to re-open the Fox Theatre to build the local arts economy and preserve and celebrate Trinidad’s history. By leasing out the retail spaces in the building, the City intends to create jobs and attract tourists and investors from throughout Colorado and beyond.
“The City of Trinidad is overjoyed, and thankful to have been awarded these two Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields grants!” said Trinidad City Manager Mike Valentine. “We are so grateful to the EPA for their continued assistance in the redevelopment of Trinidad and Las Animas County to strengthen and expand our economic base through the adaptive reuse of so many of our historic structures.”
The list of the fiscal year 2021 applicants selected for funding is available here: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/applicants-selected-fy-2021-brownfields-multipurpose-assessment-and-cleanup-grants
EPA anticipates that it will award the grants once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied by the selected recipients.
Since its inception in 1995, EPA's Brownfields Program has provided nearly $1.76 billion in grants to assess and clean up contaminated properties and return them to productive reuse. This has led to significant benefits for communities across the country. For example,
- To date, communities participating in the Brownfields Program have been able to attract more than $34.4 billion in cleanup and redevelopment funding after receiving Brownfields funds. This has led to over 175,500 jobs in cleanup, construction, and redevelopment.
- Based on grant recipient reporting, recipients leveraged on average $20.13 for each EPA Brownfields dollar and 10.3 jobs per $100,000 of EPA Brownfield Grant funds expended on assessment, cleanup, and revolving loan fund cooperative agreements.
- In addition, an academic peer-reviewed study has found that residential properties near brownfield sites increased in value by 5% to 15.2% as a result of cleanup activities.
- Finally, analyzing data near 48 brownfields, EPA found an estimated $29 million to $97 million in additional tax revenue for local governments in a single year after cleanup—2 to 7 times more than the $12.4 million EPA contributed to the cleanup of those brownfield sites.
For more on the Brownfields Grants: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/types-epa-brownfield-grant-funding
For more on EPA’s Brownfields Program: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields