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Press release from Land-of-Sky Regional Council, shared Wednesday, Jan. 18:

The Land-of-Sky Regional Council’s Brownfields Revolving Loan Program has awarded a $295,000 subgrant for remediation activities at Karen Cragnolin Park, formerly the EDACO site, located at 190 Amboy Rd. in Asheville.

Land-of-Sky was awarded a $660,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The site, a former auto salvage yard, will undergo remediation activities under a phytoremediation plan approved by the N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources Brownfields Program.

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The Karen Cragnolin Park is a “missing link” in the French Broad River greenway and Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan. Redevelopment of this site will provide immediate linkage between two existing greenways and parks, become part of the Wilma Dykeman RiverWay, and provide much needed open space in the urban corridor while protecting the river flood fringe, way and plain. After the Remedial Action Plan has been completed, RiverLink may turn the park over to the City of Asheville for public use, as it did with Carrier Park. RiverLink has given an easement to the City of Asheville for construction of a sidewalk linking Carrier Park and French Broad River Park through Karen Cragnolin Park.

Throughout the community input process on this project, a number of matters have been expressed by individuals and representatives of the River District Community.

Those concerns include: the need to redevelop this property and put it into active use; to ensure the site is safe for the public health; to ensure the site is safe for the environment; and to provide quality access to the site when developed.

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The Brownfields Program encourages redevelopment of America’s estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated waste sites. Since the beginning of the Brownfields Program, EPA revolving loan fund grant recipients have executed 146 loans and awarded 41 subgrants to support Brownfields cleanup totaling more than $76.8 million. The loan funds have leveraged more than $1.8 billion in public and private cleanup and redevelopment investment and enabled the leveraging of 3,285 jobs in cleanup, construction and redevelopment.

President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 on Feb. 17, 2009, and has directed that the Recovery Act be implemented with unprecedented transparency and accountability. To that end, the American people can see how every dollar is being invested at Recovery.gov.

For more information, contact Kate O’Hara, Brownfields Program Manager at (828) 251-6622 or kate@landofsky.org.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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