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May 8, 2012

MADISON - The city of La Crosse will be able to bring back one of its riverfront gems thanks to a $250,000 brownfields grant from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR awarded a Ready for Reuse grant to La Crosse to cleanup the old Patros scrap yard and steel supply company, located just north of the confluence of the Mississippi, Black and La Crosse rivers.

"We are excited to use these funds to help move the site forward toward cleanup and eventual reuse," said Ed Pryztarski, president of the City of La Crosse Redevelopment Authority.

Pryztarski said the work at Patros is part of a broader effort to cleanup and redevelop a 65-acre area near the confluence of the three rivers, including the adjacent former Exxon-Mobil/Bob Johnson bulk oil terminal.

"By cleaning up the Patros property in an environmentally friendly way, we hope to open up that entire Black River waterfront for public use," said Pryztarski.

Ready for Reuse grants are federal funds given to communities by the DNR to clean up contaminated properties known as brownfields. The funds will be used by the city to remove soil at the former salvage yard contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

"Ready for Reuse funds continue to serve as seed money for community's looking to spur environmental cleanup and economic growth," said Darsi Foss, brownfields section chief for the DNR's Remediation and Redevelopment Program.

Foss added that the DNR has additional Ready for Reuse funds available, which can be awarded as either grants or loans. The grant awarded to the city required La Crosse to provide a 22 percent match. However, Pryztarski noted total cleanup costs are estimated at $500,000.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Darsi Foss, DNR, 608-267-6713 or Andrew Savagian, DNR Remediation and Redevelopment outreach specialists - 608-261-6422

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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