For immediate release
MRPC board learns about possibilities related to MDNR Brownfields Voluntary Clean-up Program
ST. JAMES—The Meramec Regional Planning Commission (MRPC) board learned about the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Brownfields Voluntary Clean-up Program from Outreach Coordinator Jacob Rohter at its Nov. 18 meeting. The program offers site-specific assessments on brownfield properties. The term brownfield refers to a piece of property, with or without structures, where the redevelopment or reuse could be complicated by the presence, the potential presence or the perceived presence of hazardous substances. The goal of the Brownfield Assessment Program is to clarify the history and environmental conditions of a property so that reuse and redevelopment decisions can be made.
“These assessments are taking out the unknowns,” Rohter said. “It’s separating the former site uses from the possibilities of future site uses.”
These environmental assessments determine if contamination is present and the extent of the contamination present. Additionally, it provides answers to potential cost concerning clean-ups associated with brownfield properties. Redevelopment of brownfields benefits the environment, the community and industry by preserving undeveloped greenspace, cleaning up contaminated properties, returning properties to tax rolls, creating employment opportunities and rejuvenating dilapidated areas.
Cities, counties, quasi-governmental or nonprofits are eligible to apply for a Brownfield assessment, but there must be signed consent from the property owner for MDNR to access the property. These assessments are at no cost to the applicants and are voluntary.
For more information or an application for a brownfield assessment, visit missouribrownfields.com.
In other business, the MRPC board:
- Appointed David Selzer, executive director of the Phelps Health Foundation, as the at-large board member representing health care. The external relations committee was presented with three possible candidates and chose to recommend Selzer to the full board, where his nomination was approved;
- Heard an update that the Meramec Regional Community Foundation Community Grant Program is now open. The program provides $250-$500 grants to community projects needing extra funds. The application can be found at https://www.meramecregion.org/career-and-business-opportunities/grant-opportunities/;
- Welcomed Jake Harlan to the MRPC board as the for-profit representative for Phelps County. He replaces Jeff Medows; and
- Learned of four positions currently open at MRPC. MRPC is in the process of hiring three community development specialists and a bookkeeper. Those interested in applying can find the job descriptions at https://www.meramecregion.org/career-and-business-opportunities/jobs/.
Formed in 1969, MRPC is a voluntary council of governments serving Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington counties and their respective cities. Steve Vogt, representing the city of Belle, serves as chairman of the board. A professional staff of 36 offers technical assistance and services, such as grant preparation and administration, housing assistance, transportation planning, environmental planning, ordinance codification, business loans and other services to member communities.