A 45-thousand dollar grant has been awarded to the Chippewa County International Airport to find new uses for vacant buildings.
The grant is part of Michigan’s Brownfield program. The program provides grants and loans to local governments to redevelop difficult or contaminated properties.
Ryan Londrigan is the Brownfield Coordinator. He said the Chippewa County International Airport has a number of vacant buildings that need repurposing.
“They have a number of buildings and parcels that either are not fully being utilized right now, or you know are vacant, and so this grant, the purpose is to perform environmental assessment on those parcels to just see what’s going on there.”
Londrigan said the assessment will help create a plan to move forward, and encourage developers to invest.
“This grant is just to perform the assessment on those parcels to see what might be happening there, and then if we do find some concerns that might hinder redevelopment, or deter developers from looking at these parcels, we could go back and ask for additional grant funds to deal with cleaning up the properties as well.”
Londrigan said the funding will be used to assess the state of each parcel, including a detailed asbestos survey.
“They knew they had some asbestos in one of their buildings, and something we do is assessment, and so the idea just came up like hey, let's assess all of your vacant or underutilized buildings, find out what you have there so you can kind of quantify the cost.”
Londrigan said the assessment process should be complete within the next two months.