City wants to clean up the old farmers market site. Here’s how you can have a say in its future use.
Columbus Consolidated Government has received a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the contaminated former State Farmers Market site.
The EPA announced the grant funding in a news release Wednesday. State, city and federal officials gathered Thursday to celebrate the news. Columbus was one of five Georgia communities to receive the funding.
“This project is the first step in turning an underutilized property into a productive use and will have a huge impact on the revitalization efforts in Columbus,” wrote Mayor Skip Henderson on Facebook.
The 14.67-acre site on 10th Avenue was developed in the mid-1950s as the Georgia State Farmers Market. There are 10 dilapidated buildings including a restaurant, offices, warehouses, covered loading areas and a vehicle maintenance building. There are also two underground storage tanks on the site.
The site was locked up in 2017, according to previous Ledger-Enquirer reports.
The site is contaminated with inorganic materials, metals and petroleum compounds, according to the EPA. Previous Ledger reports say fuel leaked into the ground. Other pollutants include asbestos and lead paint.
Of the $500,000, approximately $209,250 will be used to clean up hazardous substances, and $290,750 will be used to clean up petroleum, according to the EPA. Cleanup grants require a 20% cost share which could be in the form of money, labor, material or services — meaning the city will provide $100,000 in funding of some sort.
Columbus received the funding from the EPA’s Brownfield Program. A brownfield is a property where the presence of hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants hinders expansion, redevelopment and/or reuse, according to the EPA.