BRADENTON - The contaminated 7.4 acre property spanning from 2nd Street West to 8th Avenue Drive West was given a cleaner future on Wednesday, when the Bradenton City Council unanimously passed a resolution that would designate the site as a Brownfield Area.
The designation makes all areas of the property - which is divided into private (Bell Atlantic) and public ownership - eligible for federal and state grants and incentives for purposes of environmental rehabilitation.
Another goal of the re-development, as advised by City Clerk Carl Callahan, is to aid in economic re-development of the property and the area surrounding it. (A clause in the resolution stating as much - "Whereas the owner of the brownfield area has proposed to re-develop the property as a commercial development" - was taken out afterward and replaced by a general statement of the city supporting and encouraging "private and/or public re-development, and investment in the Brownfield area ...)".
During the early 1900's, parts of the property were used for gas works facilities and waste water treatment - likely major reasons for the current state of the area's environment.
Speaking before the council, City Community Services and Code Compliance Manager Volker Reiss said, "We don't think it is a nuclear waste site, but there is some contamination."
Some of the contamination includes two areas of groundwater on the property which have been found to contain coal tar and cyanide. Benzene, toulene and other chemicals have also been found in the soil, groundwater and storm drain water on the property.
Speaking after the presentation, Reiss advised that the property's future has yet to be determined.
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