EPA Federal Government Grant Proposal
Proposal for Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Grant
On behalf of its Board of Chosen Freeholders The Warren County Department of Environmental Protection is pleased to submit this proposal for consideration in awarding Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot Grant. Warren County is rural county focused on revitalizing specific isolated areas to enable its population to experience improved economic and educational benefits. Our local economy has declined since the early 1980’s when manufacturing began to leave our area.
The Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilot would offer an opportunity for needed motivation to unite community groups investors community leaders and developers to begin the downtown revitalization in areas that have been long neglected. We appreciate the opportunity to compete. You can reach me at 777 7777 if you have any questions regarding this proposal.
Warren County seeks to improve the economic environment to enable controlled sustainable economic growth that brings upward mobility within each of its communities and increases educational opportunities. Our program is focused on using funding to increase the amount of land attractive to new development and accessible to all segments of our population.
Brownfields Assessment Pilot Grant
Reason for Grant. Foster economic growth and educational opportunity to depressed community. Grant Request. Many grant funders will require list of items to be included in cover sheet. Update this cover sheet as needed if you are given explicit instructions by grant funder.
The cover sheet is short one page summary at the beginning of your grant proposal.
Warren County NJ is located in rural section of northwest NJ surrounded by farmland and state parkland. Facing long downturn economically due to the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs as the companies moved away the area is caught between extreme low income families 200% below the poverty line and great wealth incomes $150 and above. The county seeks to develop and improved select sites tied the Main Street Revitalization and educational reforms demanded by state government in order to help the local population become more competitive for jobs in science technology and retail.
Our effort seeks to help stabilize the local economy by using tactics not installed previously. Since the 1950’s we have sought to diversify our economy by promoting industrial and commercial development. Although some did become established it was not enough to stem the growing tide of unemployment and underemployed dominating our population.
We are starting our redevelopment process because our area has become attractive to upper income families seeking large lot sizes and building larger homes. There are distinct differences between the "old timers" and the "newcomers". Our goal is to redevelop our community in way that is fair and accessible to all residents. We are in unique position to have acquired abandoned property near federally owned land in our downtown area.
One obstacle has been the inadequate public transportation system and limited rail access for residents to use to travel into New York and northern NJ where the jobs are more plentiful. Much of the land that is available in our area is owned by the federal or state governments. Additionally no less than seven federal agencies intersect to decide on land use options.
As our county continues to face these challenges we have begun to create new opportunities for ourselves with the aim of addressing budget issues inadequate broad band access for much of the population and declining graduation rates at our local high schools.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goal is to motivate an economic environment that is supportive of controlled sustainable economic growth that improves the standard of living within each of the communities and augments efforts to expand educational opportunities for our residents. To expedite the attainment of our goal we plan to use funding from the Brownfield’s Assessment Demonstration Pilot grant to establish the Warren County Brownfield’s Program. The program has great potential to increase the amount land available for successful development. Over the next two years we hope to meet these goals for our population.
Augment the number of businesses coming into Warren County. Diversity our industrial commercial and nonprofit based including attracting renewable energy sources to our area. Grow our county tax revenues by raising property values. Increase employment opportunities for our residents.
Expand partnerships between colleges universities and vocational schools for the benefit of our unemployed and underemployed residents. Overcome obstacles to land issues. Establish the Phillipsburg Transportation Center Theatre and Community Center Project on land that can double as preserve and community center and. Grow opportunities for broadband expansion in our rural area.
Performance measurement for these goals is based on both quantifiable outcomes and quality experiences. We will inventory the kind of new businesses assess increases in revenues as result of the anticipated influx and increase property taxes over time as the numbers of new jobs are created and employment rates improve. Objectives Tied to Program Implementation.
Conduct extensive activities to education and inform potential stakeholders community leaders clergy affected brownfield environmental justice communities real estate investors and agents banks developers and hospitals and other key organizations in our community – years. Assess review and prioritize potential brownfield properties in each of our target communities first months. Conduct Brownfield’s assessments on up to priority sites and prepare them for cleanup with the help of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and if needed reuse property up to years.
Evaluate all program activities at the various stages of activity to understand Warren County’s possible success in meeting program objectives month of project.
Warren County plans to execute the Brownfield’s pilot assessment in four phases. Community outreach and assessment; site selection; environmental site assessment and program evaluation. Community assessment and outreach – Using existing state and federal land management agencies and their current programs we plan to hold community conferences generate podcasts online interactive sessions and use local media to communicate and motivate public comment and participation. This will be further enhanced by the use of our local college’s radio and TV stations to create programming that focuses on the issues surrounding land use and development.
Our effort will focus on. Providing communities with list of options for review and discussion. Conduct community outreach over the first six months of the project.
Continue community awareness activities after program implementation by providing reports in newsletters online radio TV and regional cable TV. Site selection Warren County plans to use the locations for community outreach to dialogue with local elected officials key stakeholders community organizations and local residents. At these sessions will conduct change management seminars that allow us to interpret and review our goals and objectives with local residents.
This information will help us determine the final sites and prioritize them in terms of importance to the community. At least one site from within the assessment area will be chosen for Brownfield’s funding. Environmental Site Assessment – Once the site selection process has been completed Warren County will perform the Phase of the Environmental Site Assessment ESAs to determine the potential environmental liabilities associated with each site.
Program Evaluation will be conducted throughout the two year timeline as monitoring and at the end of the program concluding activity will be conducted. These criteria are most important. Understanding and participation of potential stakeholders in the Brownfield’s program. Amount of land reviewed and brought into the program.
How much land area has been developed and how much left as green space. What are the components of redevelopment and how do they fit into the goals and objectives of the target communities. How much tax revenue will be attributed to the development.
Will the development increase tourism. What other socio economic benefits have been identified as are result of the initiative.
Use the Location Analysis template to outline how the physical location or online location meets the needs of the project or business plan. Company has performed thorough business location analysis. Following are the results. As part of your business plan you should have done location analysis.
Location is extremely important for both online and offline businesses. An analysis of physical location for an offline business should include descriptions of access to the target market visibility parking existing competition etc. Location analyses for online businesses should discuss choice of web site address keywords advertising areas copywriting search engine listings existing competition etc.
In order to track the effectiveness of the project and to judge the outcome the following evaluation plan will be used. We plan to adhere to the following criteria during our Evaluation Plan activities for the project. Data Collection.
Data will be collected before during and after the project has been completed to be used in the final analysis. This means will be collecting data for months using validated checklists provided by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection Office of Brownfield’s Management. Besides using department checklists we plan to evaluate all community conferences town meetings and responses via radio and TV communications. Data will also be collected through our online newsletter and in the local press via resident surveys.
Discussions will be handled by using standard Discussion Guides for focus groups to keep participants on track. Data Analysis. We will use Jenkins & Jenkins Environmental Data Analysts to provide timely analysis on each site identified meaning of the land use data meaning of the possible hazards and impacts on the community. Final report will be commissioned to recommend specific tactics to make the best selections.
- Number of residents and key stakeholders who are familiar with our program;
- Amount of land reviewed and incorporated into the program;
- Amount of land redeveloped and set aside for "green space";
- Number of jobs created;
- Increase in tax revenue;
- Increase in tourism;
With the completion of the program over two year timeline we will summarize the results and provide final analysis to the County Freeholders and in the media.
Warren County is governed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. Each Freeholder represents separate area of the county and they are elected by constituents in that area. At its most recent session the Board of Freeholders directed that we apply for the Brownfield’s Pilot Assessment grant in be ready to submit it to the appropriate regional state and federal authorities.
The New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection Office of Brownfield’s Management oversees such projects and has worked closely with our local elected officials and Public Works agencies to evaluate recommend and execute environmental remediation projects in our county. This collaboration will continue during this project. Since we don’t have formal Brownfield’s project we use the Environmental Compliance Officer to assit us in typical cleanup activities around the county.
Her authority will be expanded due to this grant opportunity and she will become the county advisor along with our Director of Economic Development in help us implement our goals and objectives. We hope to have Brownfield’s Director as well as an EC EZ Enterprise Zone Manager to work jointly on redevelopment initiatives.
Problem Statement and Needs Assessment
We are targeting the communities in Warren County NJ particularly Phillipsburg Hackettstown and Washington where the most population reside and the greatest need for redevelopment and economic growth exists. The needs of all of our communities are distinct based on the number of people land size growth trends educational attainment and business needs. Phillipsburg Hackettstown and Washington are growing towns because they provide affordable rent for those moving in from higher prices sections of the community potential employment and attract tourists.
Phillipsburg contains sites with high potential for Brownfield’s work; Hackettstown has sites and Washington has 7. Each must be evaluated along with areas identified in the outer suburbs that have environmental impacts and issues. Hackettstown is the county seat and home to year old Independent College. The town has seen better days since the manufacturing left.
However the cleanup sites offer tremendous opportunity for revitalization and renewal. In fact it has been visited by the State’s Main Street NJ program in hopes of downtown cleanup and redevelopment. Our recent population assessment determined these critical needs for our population. Although modest progress has been made on employment the other areas are still behind the state’s averages for population performance.
New Jersey’s existing Brownfield’ projects include those managed by the State and are often found in the larger cities of the State. Our Brownfield’s pilot assessment is targeted at providing upgrades to communities located in the most rural part of the state. We project significant value due to Federal Support.
Warren County projects the use of the Brownfield’s funding for assessment of abandoned properties in Phillipsburg downtown Hackettstown in the old manufacturing area where there are empty factories and in Washington around decaying movie theatre near the center of town. We currently receive federal grants for economic development and job training; however our efforts are focused on attracting tourists new businesses and developers.
Community Based Planning and Citizen Involvement
Warren County is committed on every level to redesign motivate change and revitalize environmentally deteriorating areas. Although we have small populations compared to other counties in the state we are ready to energize our area. Since we have limited funds the following is our planning of activities to be carried out during the course of the project.
First we hope to optimize existing resources at the local county regional and state level. This means we will pursue additional funding from other agencies foundations corporations and citizens of wealth. Second we want to initiate through nonprofit corporation the revitalization of downtown abandoned transportation center located on land that needs remediation.
The redevelopment will occur in Phillipsburg. Third we hope to convert land that has previously assessed in Hackettstown as unsafe from tanning factory to new shopping center after Brownfield’s and remediation. Fourth we are targeting the near town center site by canal that needs remediation and abandoned movie theatre for commercial and moderate income apartments and single family homes.
Our community involvement plan contains these elements.
The State of New Jersey nurtures of complex network of local county and state level agencies that work in proactive manner to ensure effort to improve the economic and social standing of our citizens. We are ranked number in the nation for income. The support that has been shown for our application is easily determined by the twenty or more letters of support and commitment attached to this application. Additionally we will be working with the NJ Transit NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development State Office of Economic Development as well as the State Department of Environmental Protection to ensure careful monitoring and evaluation of our efforts.
Site Selection and Environmental Site Assessment Plan
Once we receive approval to fund our activities we plan to implement the community outreach and assessment program. This will be initiated through brochures local radio talk shows and cable TV. Next we plan to engage local developers real estate agents interested citizens community organizations and elected officials to recruit and orient citizens to our community conferences so that we can share our plans and receive input.
Public comment and communications will be crucial to our decision making. Additionally we plan to develop as many sites as possible in the county to ensure fair dialogue with our constituencies. Lastly the abandoned properties that we are assessing will be identified in the local press as well to give people chance to see where we will be working and at what pace.
Sites that we are considering for assessment like the abandoned Railroad Center in Phillipsburg will receive very careful analysis and assistance will be sought from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection regarding state documentation concerning the site and assessments as to its viability.
Plans to Reuse and Proposed Cleanup Funding Mechanisms
Warren County has to convince other authorities like the Skylands Council and the Regional Planning Association of the viability of our development efforts. We will work with them to promote systematic development process. Over the last three years the county has received numerous expressions of interest from variety of businesses and investors regarding sites facilities around the county. A planning forum is in the works to bring together community members the public and potential developers to discuss plans and obtain public comments and support for plans.
How we plan to manage land ownership
Warren County projects that most of the sites identified for Brownfield’s will be funded through the county ownership and state authorization. While under county ownership the properties will be assessed for environmental liabilities. Additionally the County will provide incentives loans and similar assistance to businesses willing to purchase the property and relocate to the area.
We are also determined to complete assessment during the interim ownership of property period so that we can expose any environmental liability associated with the properties
Warren County does not have the urbanized population as found in large number of New Jersey’s cities. In fact we are considered one of the rural parts of the State. This rural isolation can be turned to an economic benefit as the need for and for both residential and commercial purposes continues to rise. We project these benefits.
Steady increase in the number of mid sized businesses relocating to the area to take advantage of the land and the population. Opportunity for increased collaboration among education social services workforce development and businesses to identify strong available employable talent. Opportunity for residents to voice their opinions regarding the changes in their neighborhoods the types of businesses relocating to their communities and removal of environmental liabilities from their neighborhoods. Successfully and sustainable development of Brownfield’s properties enables the growth of new relationships in the community and established precedents for building more local county regional and state partnerships to benefit the citizens.
Sustainable reuse of land resources motivates important issues and directs proposed development in the area in ways that are acceptable to the population. Our group proposes to emphasize these areas of sustainability for our county. Pursue future development of renewable energy projects such as power generators. Focus our efforts on developing cultural facilities e.g. the theatre community centers which offer opportunities for artists musicians to perform.
Retail establishments that are projected by the U.S. Department of Labor to grow steadily in our area due to increased demand. Technology centers and other "clean businesses".
Measures of Success
Warren County has perceived success in small projects through the current effort to grow development consortium and redevelopment expertise. Our citizens have expressed enthusiasm about proposed development ideas in locations we are screening. This funding will help us pursue those areas more closely.
Additional some of the new businesses have provided opportunities for people who have been without work to move forward in new jobs increase their incomes and look at educational opportunities. We want to continue this type of growth and development through the assessment and remediation of the land under the Brownfield’s program. This program can serve as spark to our revitalization program. Success will be measured by.
Regularly scheduled surveys in communities. Feedback through newsletters online programs and media events. Number of new businesses in our area. Number of requests by commercial interests concerning our sites.
Increase in tax revenues. Increase in tourism. Increased income levels in the population and expanded industrial development for our region.
Authority and Content
Warrant County’s Department of Public Works has partnered with the Federal Department of Natural Resources and Federal Facilities as well as other federal agencies to initiate conservation efforts. Over the past years they have worked to protect the public lands that surround our communities and preserve green space and habitat throughout the County. Regularly we work with these agencies to provide support for the acres of farmland and state parkland that surround our communities.
Our efforts have been sustained by. Bureau of Land Management BLM that manages acres of parkland in our County. National Park Service that operates the Skylands Mountain Reservation that borders both New York and Pennsylvania near the Delaware River.
This area requires constant monitoring to protect the habitat and wildlife. It is also natural attraction for thousands of tourists each year who come for recreational enjoyment to our region. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service USFWS managing the Delaware Rivers Reserve in our County; and U.S. Forest Service dedicated to managing lands that offer limited economic opportunity but challenge in terms of potential uses and need for protection. This proposal offers us the unique opportunity to overcome the various setbacks experienced since the decline of the manufacturing industry in our area.
We can look forward to developing and revitalizing much needed land resources for our citizens. The County with its partners is working to successful manage these lands and maintain the beauty and resources of our region.
The following is our site planning of activities to be carried out during the course of the project. Describe your approach to site planning related to the project and how you will be able to achieve the timeline outlined. The Site Planning template is used to describe general list of activity planning related to physical location.
List of Illustrations
This appendix contains the list of illustrations used in this proposal along with the page numbers they are used on. Figure # Map of Warren County NJ short description here. Figure # Cover Photo of the Towns in Warren County NJ short description here. Figure # Street Map of Location #1 for Brownfield’s Assessment in Phillipsburg NJ.