With an eye to future reuse and economic development, the Jefferson Local Development Corporation plans to submit two brownfields grant applications for the South Campus of the former Montana Development Center in Boulder.
The brownfields cleanup grants, to be funded through the Environmental Protection Agency if approved, target buildings five, six and nine. A public hearing on the proposed grants is scheduled for Oct. 13, 1:45 p.m. at the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorders conference room.
The first grant is for building six, which was once used as a dormitory for the Montana State Training School and was abandoned in the 1980s, according to the draft grant application.
As the building is highly visible from Highway 69, it contributes to a sense of disregard and neglect in the community, according to the draft grant application.
JLDC Economic Development Project Officer Eric Seidensticker presented three options for building six recently to the Jefferson County Commission, which include doing the minimum required to remediate the hazardous material, in this case, asbestos and lead paint, and maintain the structure; perform all the necessary materials abate
ment and demolish the building; or do nothing.
Seidensticker said the JLDC is favoring the removal of the asbestos and lead paint, demolishing the building and providing a clean piece of ground for future development.
The grant ranges from $200,000 to $300,000, and does contain a cash or in-kind match, according to Seidensticker.
Building six is owned by the JLDC, and the agency is looking at applying for a match waiver of some kind due to the agency’s nonprofit status, said Seidensticker .
The JLDC had attempted to obtain a grant for this building in the past, but due to a technicality with the application, it was not awarded, said Seidensticker, adding that these grants are available every two years.
Once the existing building is demolished, the JLDC plans to work with neighboring Youth Dynamics on reusing the property, said Seidensticker.
The second grant application is for buildings five (Griffin Hall) and nine (Cottage 5), which had been used as a multi-purpose building and dormitory, respectively. This grant is for a multi-purpose funding opportunity, said Seidensticker. Both buildings have been vacant since the 1980s.
These buildings are also described in the draft grant application as contributing to a sense of neglect in the city.
The options for those two buildings include a partial removal of the asbestos and lead-based paint with an operations and maintenance plan; remove all the asbestos and paint, but not demolish the building; or a do nothing option.
Seidensticker said the JLDC is favoring the first two options.
As for the final disposition of those structures, the JLDC is remaining open to possibilities and is looking for feedback from the Commission, said Seidensticker.
Commission Chairman Leonard Wortman said the challenge is what to do with those buildings.
“It’s a shame to have those buildings just sit there,” said Wortman.
JLDC Project Coordinator Tom Harrington said this may be a good time to consider housing needs in the community, as those buildings were once originally used for residential purposes.
There have also been inquiries from other groups, such as artisans, but those have not been fleshed out yet, said Harrington.
A brownfield refers to a building or an empty parcel of land that is blighted, contributes to community decay and provides no value to the community, with the cleanup leading to future reuse and development, according to Seidensticker.
To increase the success of the two applications, the JLDC is submitting the draft applications to the Kansas State UniversityTechnical Assistance Brownfields program for review. The TAB program will review the applications and provide feedback prior to actual submission to EPA, said Seidensticker.
The applications are due at the end of October.
The JLDC has also released a request for proposals for a consultant to craft a master plan for the main campus of the former Montana Development Center. This year-long project will also include a preliminary architectural report on the property, said Seidensticker during an Oct. 1 Boulder Transition Advisory Committee meeting.