Hennepin County awards city with $139,737 ERF grant
The city of Osseo has received a $139,737 Environmental Response Fund (ERF) Grant from Hennepin County. The grant was officially approved at the July 17 Hennepin County Board of Commissioners meeting.
The grant will be used on the Five Central project site, just north of the corner of Central Avenue and Fifth Street N.W.
Osseo City Planner Riley Grams said, “This specific grant will be used to help clean up contaminated soils — soil testing, literally digging up the soil, and removing it off site — on the Phase II properties.”
Prior to Phase II of Five Central, there was an old gas station and car repair shop at that location.
“Both of these uses historically have contamination into the ground,” Grams said. “Legally, you cannot build residential living units on contaminated soils, so we had to clean up the site first. We applied for and received the Hennepin County grant to help accomplish that.”
Grams said city staff worked with staff at Hennepin County to prepare the grant application, which included itemizing specific costs associated with the Five Central project.
ERF grants fund the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites where conditions present a threat to human health or the environment, but where lack funding and added environmental costs hinder site improvements or redevelopment. These grants are used for a variety of activities that provide community benefit, including assessment and cleanup of groundwater and evaluation and abatement of asbestos and lead-based paint. Priority is placed on locations that are intended as public or green spaces, establish affordable and moderately priced housing and promote economic development.
To date, Hennepin County has awarded 313 ERF grants totaling $45.7 million.
The second phase of the Five Central project will be opening in spring 2015.