Contact(s): Christine Haag, Brownfields Section chief, 608-266-0244; Andrew Savagian, communications, 608-261-6422
February 9, 2016
MADISON - A rural Vilas County community stands to benefit from a Department of Natural Resources brownfields award to help clean up an abandoned contaminated property.
The former Nagel Lumber property operated in the Land O'Lakes area for more than half a century before closing its doors in 2005. Since then, the 130 acre site has sat idle and is deteriorating.
The DNR's Wisconsin Assessment Monies award, valued at approximately $30,000, comes in the form of contractor services for assessing conditions at the site, and will help the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation determine if the property contains any contamination in the soil or groundwater.
"This award may help make the difference between this historic property sitting idle and vacant or getting cleaned up and realizing a new purpose," said Christine Haag, chief of DNR's Brownfields Section. "It's especially helpful in smaller communities where resources are stretched thin."
Administered by the DNR Remediation and Redevelopment Program, WAM awards provide communities like Land O'Lakes with professional environmental assessments of contaminated properties, helping them to turn the site around and get it ready for a new use.
Haag said WAM applications require minimal effort by local governments, because there is no financial match or project administration involved, making them attractive opportunities for small communities. In many instances, WAM awards are also leveraged against other sources of funding to kick-start repurposing efforts on sites that may have been underutilized for many years.
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.