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July 7, 2022

Waterville gets $500K brownfields grant to help spur development

Garvan Donegan on a downtown street File photo/ Tim Greenway Garvan Donegan, director of planning, innovation and economic development at the Central Maine Growth Council, said the grant will advance local economic development.

The city of Waterville has been awarded a $500,000 Brownfield Assessment Grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to support environmental and civil planning and ultimately spur local development.

The award amount is the maximum for the EPA grants. Waterville is one of only 265 communities throughout the country to receive a grant in this award cycle, according to a news release.

Waterville has been undergoing a transformation in recent years, attracting new residents as well as new investments by Colby College and local developers. The EPA grant could help continue that momentum.

With the award, the city will provide development funding through a competitive grant application process this fall to support site assessments related to future development.

Brownfield sites are land parcels that have been contaminated by hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. After the sites complete the EPA assessment process, they can be redeveloped for a variety of uses, such as housing, commercial and retail businesses and industrial workspaces.

“Having the ability to incentivize sustainable development and transform underutilized spaces into prosperous community hubs is crucial to sustaining local economic development," said Garvan Donegan, the Central Maine Growth Council's director of planning, innovation, and economic development. 

"This funding will allow the city of Waterville to stimulate the restoration of its historic buildings and sites to encourage commercial and industrial growth, support the development of housing, and create jobs within the municipality,” said Donegan, who was named in 2021 to the Mainebiz Next List

Waterville City Manager Stephen Daly said, “This is an exciting time for the city of Waterville, which is continuing to experience forward-moving growth related to private investment and development. We look forward to providing this funding to support projects which highlight our expanding downtown, incentivize investment, and boost our existing housing stock.” 

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