Bradenton hosts public hearing to discuss brownfield

jtate@bradenton.comSeptember 7, 2013 

BRADENTON -- City officials are considering seeking a "brownfield" designation for several properties near downtown Bradenton, which could allow the city to reuse the land and qualify for a revolving loan grant.

Bradenton Public Works is planning a public hearing and workshop Monday about the federal regulations for potentially contaminated land and the proposed brownfield area designation.

"We're trying to designate a property under federal regulations that might have contamination," said Claude Tankersley, public works director.

Over the years, the properties have been used for several things, including housing the city's water treatment plant and primary water pumping station.

"Given the past light industrial uses of these properties, the city recognizes that residual industrial pollution may remain in the soil," said Tankersley.

When you designate a brownfield site, it doesn't mean it's owned by one property owner, he said.

One property owner of the proposed site is Verizon. Spokesman Bob Elek said their company has been doing work on the site for a few years now.

"We've been trying to remove toxin soil from the site," said Elek. "There's still more work to be done."

The city of Bradenton owns property near Verizon's property. The brownfield site will include those two properties as well as a few others bounded on the north by

Sixth Avenue West, on the east by First Street (U.S. 301), on the south by Ninth Avenue West and on the west by Third Street West.

A presentation will be made regarding the pro­posed brownfield area designation of the prop­erty under Flori­da's Brownfields Rede­velopment Act.

The city of Bradenton's property houses an old vacant brick building that was a water pumping station.

Tim Polk, director of planning and community development, stressed that designating a site as a brownfield does not mean the site is harmful to residents.

"We're looking at the possibility for future redevelopment," said Polk.

If the area is designated a brownfield, it will go through phases of work, including documentation of prior uses and soil testing.

The public hearing will be at 6 p.m. Monday at at the Bradenton Public Works & Utilities Department building, 1411 Ninth St. W.

Janey Tate, city of Bradenton and Palmetto reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041. You can follow her on Twitter at Janey_Tate

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