NEWS ARCHIVE:     Age: 2,538 days

See This Full Issue

All Previous Archived Issues


September 1, 2015

MADISON - Two rural communities on opposite ends of the state received brownfield awards totaling approximately $75,000 from the Department of Natural Resources to help clean up contaminated properties and spur redevelopment.

Spooner award aids former railroad property

A Spooner property known locally as the "roundhouse" is the focus of future redevelopment with the assistance of a DNR brownfields award.

The award, from the department's Remediation and Redevelopment Program, will help local officials determine if the property contains any contamination in the soil or groundwater.

Valued at approximately $45,000, the award comes from the department's Wisconsin Assessment Monies program. The award provides contract services for assessing conditions at closed or closing industrial sites.

"A WAM Award can help jump-start the cleanup and redevelopment process," said Christine Haag, chief of DNR's Brownfields Section. "It's especially helpful in smaller communities because the work that's produced is often leveraged with other sources of funding."

The Spooner roundhouse property was the site of a former creamery and, most recently, a construction and wood processing facility. It is located next to the popular Wild Rivers State Recreational Trail and city leaders hope to turn the property into a public park and historical site.

Former Blanchardville creamery and cheese packager eyed for redevelopment

An old creamery in the heart of Blanchardville could see new life soon with the help of a DNR WAM award. The "Old Dairymen" property on South Main Street has been underused for the past twenty years and is about to be razed.

The award, valued at approximately $30,000, comes in the form of contract services for assessing conditions at the site and will help village officials determine if the property contains any contamination in the soil or groundwater.

"This award to Blanchardville will help the community determine if contamination exists at the site and if so, to what extent," said Haag. "The village suspects there might be a contamination issue and we're glad to help determine if that's the case."

The Old Dairymen property was a cheese factory in Blanchardville from the early 1900s until the end of World War II. Later, it was used as a cheese packaging and distribution facility under the name Trumpy Cheese. That business closed in the 1990s, and the facility has been underutilized since that time. Several businesses have expressed interest in the site, and the village may also try to market the site to additional buyers.

The RR Program's WAM awards require minimal effort by the awardee. There is no match or project administration involved on the part of the recipient, making them attractive opportunities for small communities with limited resources. In many instances, WAM awards are also leveraged against other sources of funding.

Applications can be submitted for a WAM award at any time, although funds are limited. Eligible sites for funding include closed or closing manufacturing plants, or vacant land with a history of manufacturing. Gas stations, dry cleaners, salvage yards and agricultural co-ops are not eligible.

For more information, search the DNR website,, for "WAM" web page or "brownfield."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Haag, Brownfields Section chief, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422

Last Revised: Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Need an expert?

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.