Brownfields offer economic option

In other cases, older sites have been in operation since long before current environmental best management practices and continue to operate in a less-than-ideal manner. Many of these sites experience a real, but unknown, negative impact on the soil and water quality of their immediate area and other areas downstream. Finally, others simply stand as blight, which only acts to discourage development interest.

In many cases, these sites will qualify for the Federal designation of Brownfield. Brownfields are described as, “Abandoned, idle, or underused industrial and commercial areas where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination.”

To the casual observer, these Brownfields often exist as eyesores. Many of them are vacant or nearly-vacant and do little more than take up space, complicate environmental issues and deter redevelopment in the area. However, when private partners are willing to take advantage of operational and financial support provided by the City of Conway, these Brownfields represent opportunities for the community and the developer. They can be reclaimed as clean, productive and profitable development sites.

The Conway Department of Planning and Development intends to capitalize on these opportunities through a comprehensive and sustainable action plan. The new Brownfield Redevelopment Program will connect technical assistance and direct Federal funding to local property owners, developers, financiers and community and economic development agencies committed to economic growth and environmental stewardship in our urban areas. The ultimate goal is that the Conway real estate market will witness the complete life cycle of these older sites: from yesterday’s contributions, to today’s fallow, to tomorrow’s promise.

For information, contact Wes Craiglow at the Department of Planning and Development, Conway City Hall, 501-450-6105 or wes.craiglow@cityofconway.org.